Sean Penn Defends Venezuela's Leftist Leader, Compares to Obama

May 10th, 2014 7:02 AM

Sean Penn is taking a page out of President Barack Obama's playbook but twisting it to his own socialist-friendly liking. Obama has gotten plenty of mileage for blaming his predecessor for the country's woes.

Now, Penn is blaming Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro's problems on what the leader inherited from his predecessor--Hugo Chavez. Only Penn doesn't blame his late friend at all, preferring to spin a yarn about paranoia and relationships meant to excuse the late leader from guilt.

Confused? Wait until Penn compares Venezuela's collapsing economy with that of America's stagnant fiscal house. The Mystic River star talked politics with the little-seen Al Jazeera network and gave his views on the current Venezuela crisis.

President Maduro inherited a lot of the growing pains that were left, and the problems that came of a country largely forced into paranoia, largely forced into certain relationships that maybe are distasteful,” Penn said.

He added that Maduro is similar to Chavez in that he is “in love with his people and his country.” When he was asked if he thought the Venezuelan people were in love with Maduro, Penn said it was important to “be careful.”

“Are they demonstrating in Venezuela over oppression, or are they demonstrating because they’re on economic hard times? It’s the latter,” Penn insisted. “We’re all on economic hard times.

Penn blamed reports of Venezuela violently cracking down on protesters on America's anti-Venezuelan bias. He then drew parallels between that country's economic woes and what President Obama faced in his first years in office.

The frustrations are real, but, you know, they are frustrations of an identity up against — we see it on an economic level with President Obama and the United States,” the actor continued. “How quickly we forget the devastated economy he inherited. The devastated credibility of his country he inherited.

[Cross-posted from Big Hollywood]