Hugo Chavez Praises Sean Penn Before Thursday’s Meeting

August 2nd, 2007 2:15 PM

Is it the pinnacle of an anti-American, socialist actor's career to be praised by an anti-American, socialist dictator?

If so, Sean Penn is on quite a high today -- which of course is nothing unusual -- as the so-called president of Venezuela -- the lovable Hugo Chavez -- had wonderful things to say about the actor made famous as a pot-smoking surfer in the teen movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added throughout, h/t Dan Gainor):

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has praised Sean Penn for his critical stance against the war in Iraq, saying the two chatted by phone and soon plan to meet in person.

Chavez said Penn traveled to Venezuela this week wanting to learn more about the situation in the country and walked around some of Caracas' poor barrios on his own.

"Welcome to Venezuela, Mr. Penn. What drives him is consciousness, the search for new paths," Chavez said Wednesday in a televised speech. "He's one of the greatest opponents of the Iraq invasion."

Rumor has it that in accepting Chavez's invitation, Penn responded, "Hey bud...let's party!" But I digress:

Chavez read aloud from a recent open letter by Penn to President Bush in which the actor condemned the Iraq war and called for Bush to be impeached, saying the president along with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are "villainously and criminally obscene people."

The socialist president, who shares those views, said he and Penn talked by phone _ "with my bad English but we understood each other more or less."

Chavez said the two plan to meet Thursday. He called the actor "well-informed about what is happening in the United States and the world, in spite of being in Hollywood."

Yes, this about a man who so adroitly described the Declaration of Independence:

What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too! Get it?

Chavez certainly does.

Penn's parents weren't available for comment. Suffice to say, they're very proud.