Venezuela's Hugo Chávez has a lot support in his country... and among the stars of Hollywood.
Now that Venezuelan President and socialist big mouth Hugo Chávez is in the middle of a tight election, maybe he can use some help from his Hollywood friends. From Kevin Spacey and Don King to Naomi Campbell and Danny Glover, these stars have complimented, met or outright supported Chávez for president.
- U.S. director Oliver Stone, known best for his films Platoon and Wall Street, has become close friends with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. In 2012, Stone released "South of the Border," a documentary chronicling the rise of Latin American's left-wing leaders.
- Never one to shy away from controversy, boxing impresario Don King praised Chávez and his "revolution" in 2004 during the Venezuelan leader's weekly radio and television program. "To see what is happening here makes me feel good all over," said King of Chávez's government.
- Back in 2007, Kevin Spacey, the star of films such as American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, traveled to Venezuela to scout locations for a film. While in Caracas, Spacey sat down for a three-hour meeting with Chávez at the presidential palace.
- The British supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has made headlines for throwing tantrums at airports and hurling telephones at assistants, was in the news in 2007 for a private meeting she had with Hugo Chávez. Campbell made clear though that her visit was not political, adding that she was in the country to visit a children's hospital.
- With a photo of Ernesto "Che" Guevara on his arm and one of Fidel Castro on his leg, Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona is a proud supporter of Latin America's left-wing revolutionaries. In 2010, during a visit to Venezuela, Maradona pledged to support Hugo Chávez until he dies.
- Actor Sean Penn has been a supporter of Hugo Chávez for years. Earlier this year, the Mystic River actor joined the socialist leader on the campaign trail in Venezuela.
- When Danny Glover was looking for funding for a biopic on Haitian revolutionary Francois-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, he knew he could count on Hugo Chávez's government. It was reported in 2007 that Venezuela's state-sponsored studio complex Villa del Cine would funnel $18 million into the project... making a few Venezuelan filmmakers a little unhappy.
- In 2008, singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world” and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.
The Puerto Rican-born actor Benicio del Toro met with Hugo Chávez during a stop in Venezuela following the filming of Che, a biopic about Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.