Chavistas along with Bolivian officials and the Venezuelan ambassador to La Paz, Crisbeylee Gonzalez, gathered at some diplomatic venue and were delighted to have Sean Penn show up wearing his snazzy Venezuelan flag jacket.
“Thank you, Sean,” said Gonzalez, “for joining us and for wanting to be here. We know President Chavez is a good friend of yours, and you didn’t hesitate one second about coming here with us to this vigil."
Sean Penn gushed:
“He’s one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet." “And I’ll wish him nothing but that great strength he has shown over and over again. I do it in love, and I do it in gratitude.
“I just want to say, from my very American point of view, of my friend President Chavez: It is only possible to be so inspiring as he is, as a two-way street. And he would say that his inspiration is the people.”
Inspiring and one of the most important forces on this planet? Whatever.
Okay, so Penn didn't fly to La Paz exclusively for the vigil, he was there for Jacob Ostreicher, an American capitalist entrepreneur who has been in jail (without a trial) for 18 months for money laundering, a charge he claims he's innocent of. The bizarre story reads like a movie, which is probably why Penn attended the release hearing. It's still odd, since Ostreicher is definitely a capitalist and Penn's sympathies obviously run decidedly left.
So why does Chavez fly to Cuba for all his medical work? Isn't the medical care in his socialist country good enough? It should be.