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An Open Letter to Sean Penn: Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Blasts Penn’s Comments on Hugo Chavez - The Note
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An Open Letter to Sean Penn: Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Blasts Penn’s
Comments on Hugo Chavez
March 29, 2010 12:04 PM
ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Actor Sean Penn, always unabashed about his
political views, is taking heat from actress Maria Conchita Alonso for defending
Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez in a recent interview.
Alonso, who was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela, has penned an open
letter to Penn denouncing his claim that the U.S. media inaccurately portrays
Chavez as a dictator.
Chavez has gone through “14 of the most transparent elections in the globe, and been elected
democratically,” Penn said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” March 5.
“Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it. And this
is mainstream media, who should -- truly, there should be bar by which one goes to prison for these
kinds of lies,” added Penn, who has traveled to Venezuela several times and met with Chavez.
Alonso, who co-starred in the 1988 drama "Colors" with Penn, wrote that she was “appalled” by his
“Being born in Cuba, a country where freedom of speech is non-existent, it's startling to observe
how Venezuela, where I was happily raised, is fast becoming Cuba's mirror image: Dismantling of
fundamental democratic rights deserved by its people and citizens of the world,” Alonso wrote.
“Chavez did win his first elections, but like Hitler, he betrayed what the country gave him: The vote
In the letter, Alonso opposes Penn’s claims that Venezuela’s elections were transparent, and that
the country is a true democracy.
In an interview with Fox News today, the former Miss Venezuela said Penn contradicted himself
when he spoke about democracy and freedom of