April 18, 2014

Tag Archives: Hugo Chavez

Sean Penn: Hot Celebrity Photo Gallery

HollywoodNews.com: Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Week” is Sean Penn.

This year, the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at their World Summit will recognize a high-profile personality making an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace. Sean Penn is that person. Sean is an actor, founder and CEO of J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and will be presented with the 2012 Peace Summit Award during the summit for his work to rebuild and aid the victims of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, as well as his ongoing advocacy for peace and human rights protection worldwide.
Penn has been active in supporting several political and social causes. On June 10, 2005, Penn made a visit to Iran. Acting as a journalist on an assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle, he attended a Friday prayer at Tehran University.
On January 7, 2006, Penn was a special guest at the Progressive Democrats of America, where he was joined by author and media critic Norman Solomon, Democratic congressional candidate Charles Brown, and activist Cindy Sheehan. The “Out of Iraq Forum”, which took place in Sacramento, California, was organized to promote the anti-war movement calling for an end to the War in Iraq.
In August 2008, Penn made an appearance at one of Ralph Nader’s “Open the Debates” Super Rallies. He protested the political exclusion of Nader and other third parties.
In October 2008, Penn traveled to Cuba, where he met with and interviewed President Raúl Castro.
Criticism of President Bush
Penn at an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2007
On October 18, 2002, Penn placed a US$56,000 advertisement in the Washington Post asking then President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence. It was written as an open letter and referred to the planned attack on Iraq and the War on Terror. In the letter, Penn also criticized the Bush administration for its “deconstruction of civil liberties” and its “simplistic and inflammatory view of good and evil.” Penn visited Iraq briefly in December 2002.
This advertisement was cited as a primary reason for the development of his relationship with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. In one of his televised speeches, Chávez used and read aloud an open letter Penn wrote to Bush. The letter condemned the Iraq War, called for Bush to be impeached, and also called Bush, Vice President [...]

Sean Penn to be honored for his humanitarian work – “Hollywood Humanitarian Award”

HollywoodNews.com: Sean Penn will be recognized for his outstanding humanitarian achievements at the 14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival’s Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.
Penn will be bestowed with the “Hollywood Humanitarian Award” for his incredible selfless and dedicated humanitarian efforts in saving lives, as well as bringing relief to the human suffering in Haiti.
“It is an honor to recognize the inspiring humanitarian efforts that Sean Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization have been providing to the great people of Haiti,” said Mr. de Abreu.
Prior recipients of this prestigious award include director of Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, Father Rick Frechette, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and President of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ms. Jody Williams.
The gala ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 25, 2010.

URGENT: HELP NEEDED IN HAITI – DONATE NOW PLEASE
ABOUT SEAN PENN
Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award® as Best Actor for “Dead Man Walking,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “I Am Sam” and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River” and his second Oscar® as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant’s “Milk.” The performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn “Best Actor” awards from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

“This is an emergency that is just beginning. Flooding and outbreak of communicable diseases are certain if shelter and relocation are not achieved” – Sean Penn, Co-Founder, J/P HRO
Penn’s humanitarian work has found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which focuses on medical aid, protection, and re-location. His organization is currently serving as UN IOM designated Camp Management for one of the largest IDP camps in Port-au-Prince and established the first emergency re-location in the country. They work with both government and non government agencies to deliver immediate results where the need is greatest. Their efforts include but are not limited to providing emergency medical and primary care services, delivering badly needed medical equipment and medicine, distributing food and water purification systems, improving communication systems, and rubble removal in the neighborhoods surrounding the Petionville [...]

Oliver Stone living in Venezuela?

HollywoodNews.com: It’s the 3rd round of what could turn out to be a 12 round fight between filmmaker Oliver Stone, and Leopoldo Lopez, Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leader. He is the architect of a powerful new movement that promises to unite Venezuelans behind an alternative vision of democracy, free enterprise, and social change. The 38-year-old Harvard educated leader is the face of a new future for Venezuela: Democratic, inclusive, and solution-oriented.
The Associated Press calls Lopez “the man who is challenging President Hugo Chavez’s grip on power.” According to the “Washington Post,” he “represents a fresh generation” of Venezuelan leaders. “Caracas Chronicles” calls him “an early front-runner for the 2012 opposition Presidential nomination.”
Lopez was mayor of Chacao from 2000 to 2008. He won Transparency International’s Award for the most transparent municipality in Venezuela. In 2009 he founded Voluntad Popular, a social organization with the goal of promoting democracy and human rights.

For the past month, Stone has been promoting his documentary, “South of the Border,” which lionizes Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. There’s a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn’t know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media’s misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Nėstor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raúl Castro (Cuba), Stone gains unprecedented access and sheds new light upon the exciting transformations in the region.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE “SOUTH OF THE BORDER” SLIDESHOW
Leopoldo Lopez, whom many experts regard as the most serious challenger to Chavez in the next presidential election, took issue with Stone’s depiction of Chavez’s rule.
He laid out his case in an opinion piece titled, “Why Oliver Stone is Wrong About Venezuela.” In that piece, he wrote that the Stone’s version of Venezuela “could not be further from the truth. If you are among the millions living in barrios, you no longer trust that you will be protected, that services will be delivered, that your lights will stay on or that you will have access to clean water.” The article includes a statement from a mother describing her reality in which she [...]

Oliver Stone’s ‘South of the Border’ Slideshow

HollywoodNews.com: For the past month, Stone has been promoting his documentary, “South of the Border,” which lionizes Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. View memorable moments from the shooting process below:

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Oliver Stone’s response to Leopoldo Lopez

HollywoodNews.com: Below is Oliver Stone’s response to Leopoldo Lopez from The Huffington Post:
CLICK HERE TO READ LEOPOLDO LOPEZ’S CHALLENGE TO OLIVER STONE
Leopoldo López, a right-wing opposition leader in Venezuela who supported the military overthrow of the democratically elected government there in 2002, complains about my film (South of the Border), saying “Mr. Stone argues that the assault on human rights is of secondary concern.”
But my film argues the opposite. It’s just that the “assault on human rights” in Venezuela has come from the right, from Mr. Lopez and his allies. One of the first decrees by the coup government that Mr. Lopez supported was to abolish the elected Congress and the Supreme Court. Protesters were shot, and officials of the constitutional government arrested. And the victims of political violence to this day in Venezuela are also victims of the right – mostly poor peasants organizing for land reform, killed by landowners.
The struggle in Venezuela is not so much about one man, President Hugo Chávez, as the right would have us believe. It is a political battle between the left and the right. Not surprisingly, as in the rest of South America, it is the right that has the ugly record on human rights and issues of democracy. And it is the right that represents the rich — López was former mayor of one of the wealthiest areas of Caracas — against the majority of the people, much as in the United States.
Mr. López offers a “Tea Party” view of Venezuela, in which everything that is wrong with the country is the fault of the left government, and Chávez — like Obama for the Tea Partiers — is a “dictator.” López is very selective in his use of statistics. He does not tell the reader that since the Chávez government got control over the national oil industry, poverty has been cut in half, extreme poverty by more than 70 percent, and thousands of doctors added to the public sector now provide health care for the poor.
Some of his statistics are misleading. For example, the 650 percent increase in prices he refers to is an average of 19 percent annual inflation. This is high, but much lower than the pre-Chávez years, where inflation passed 100 percent in 1996. Most importantly, it is real economic growth, not the price level, that matters; and inflation did not prevent the country’s record growth from 2003-2008 [...]

Leopoldo Lopez on why Oliver Stone is wrong about Venezuela

HollywoodNews.com: Below is the original article in which Leopoldo Lopez states why Oliver Stone is wrong about Venezuela as posted on The Huffington Post:
CLICK HERE TO READ OLIVER STONE’S RESPONSE TO LEOPOLDO LOPEZ
The filmmaker Oliver Stone’s documentary of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has re-energized a long-running debate about the future of Venezuela and what it means for democracy in other countries.
Mr. Stone argues the assault on human rights is of secondary concern, saying: “Why do you seek out the dark side when the guy is doing good things?” After all, “Most peoples’ lives in this country have improved under Chavez.”
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Venezuelans, this statement could not be further from the truth. If you are among the millions living in barrios, you no longer trust that you will be protected, that services will be delivered, that your lights will stay on or that you will have access to clean water.

As a mayor for eight years of the commercial district of Caracas, I have seen firsthand how dreams have become more elusive for average Venezuelans, replaced by a dangerous sense of frustration and hopelessness.
Venezuela is now the murder capital of the western hemisphere — with a 320 increase in homicides and a 1,400 percent increase in kidnappings since 2000. This pervasive state of insecurity affects all Venezuelans, especially those living in poverty.
Shelves are bare, and Venezuela’s production capacity has deteriorated so much that we have had to increase food imports by 700 percent — including goods such as meat and coffee that were once 100 percent locally produced. Prices are 650 percent higher since Chavez first took office. The recent discovery of 81,000 tons of rotting food in a government-controlled storage facility only added to the sense that this is a problem that the president has created.
Access to clean water and electricity is a similar story. Power outages are now a daily fact of life. Many government agencies have to close early in the afternoon because there is not enough electricity.
These worsening conditions have opened the door to more sinister developments, especially in the border regions with Colombia, where people speak of an alarming growth in guerrilla activity, including the FARC. Last week I visited el Alto Apure in this region and heard a mother of four describe the new reality:
“As mothers we fight a silent war against the recruitment of our children by the elenos or the [...]

Maria Conchita Alonso Tears Into Oliver Stone’s New Film

HollywoodNews.com: Filmmaker Oliver Stone’s latest piece, “South of the Border,” has already come under fire for issues with accuracy, but now actress Maria Conchita Alonso is taking aim at the documentary, blasting Stone’s portrayal of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Criticizing Stone for what she calls “selective storytelling,” Alonso is planning a media blitz to protest the film as much as the filmmaker, even going so far as to produce her own documentary to challenge Stone’s
A spokesperson for the Cuban-born, Venezuela-raised Alonso said, “Missing from the light-hearted moments of a dictator (Chavez) riding a bike are the questioning of the alarming and growing rates of poverty, kidnapping and murder.”
South of the Border chronicles Stone’s road trip through Latin America, and his attempt to understand its sociopolitical state of affair. But according to Alonso, essential elements of life in Latin America, and particularly Chavez’s Venezuela, are left out.
“Oliver Stone is a gifted storyteller who has lent his considerable prowess to crafting a cinematic lie,” she said, adding, “Why not tell the truth about the conditions in Venezuela, where the middle class has shrunk from a third to five per cent, kidnapping has risen to the top five in the world and murder rates are higher than in Baghdad resulting from pillaged oil wealth, increased drug running and exportation of political unrest?”
“I challenge Mr. Stone to answer these questions and explain where he got the funding for the production, distribution and marketing of this lie. Oliver Stone has become Hugo Chavez’s Minister of Propaganda.”
Alonso, along with activist group Venezuela Awareness, will be picketing tonight’s 7:20 p.m. screening of South of the Border in Santa Monica. Stone, expected to do a Q&A after the premiere, will definitely have his work cut out for him.
Click here to check out what the New York Times had to say about South of the Border.
Photo by PR Photo.

Oliver Stone on the BP oil spill: Corporations control the environment

HollywoodNews.com: At the New York premiere for his documentary “South of the Border,“ Oliver Stone dished out his take on the BP oil spill.
“I’m not an expert at all on how to clean this up, but it does raise the philosophical question of what do we do with our reserves,” Stone says. “If this [oil] is indeed an American resource, are we giving it away to the corporations so that they can use it to make a profit?”
Stone’s docu, which has been criticized for being sympathetic to its protagonists, centers around Latin American leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Raul Castro. These guys according to Stone, “have taken control of their resources and they’re saying, ‘We’re not going to play the old game the old way,’” Stone tells the New York Daily News. Americans “don’t get it,” he adds. “We’re hooked on this idea that corporations own everything.”
On President Obama’s handling of the crisis: “He’s caught. We have a corporate system, and it controls our environment, and it controls our destiny. The President comes and goes,” Stone said, “and the system remains.”
Also at the Monday night premiere, Stone faced 25 protesters at Cinema Two on Third Avenue who chimed “Liar! Liar! Liar!.” Signs read “How much did Chavez pay you?”
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Oliver Stone sets “South of the Border” Film Tour

By Roger Friedman
Oliver Stone is a busy man. On Friday, May 14th, he’ll debut “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” at the Cannes Film Festival.
But he won’t be sticking around Cannes for long.
Stone will take his documentary about South American dictators, called “South of the Border,” to Madrid on May 18th for its worldwide premiere.
Ten days later he’ll show “South of the Border” in Caracas, Venezuela, to film buff and evil dictator Hugo Chavez and other officials at a premiere in that country.
From there, Stone will be all over South America with the film, described as a “political road movie.” The tour includes the “first-ever film premiere” in Cochabamba, Colombia. (A red carpet always seems more official with machine guns!)
To read more go to Showbiz411.com.

“WALL STREET 2: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS” TRAILER