Griffs Notes 5/22/07

I realized that Actor Danny Glover was a Hugo Chavez fan when I saw him in a church in Harlem introducing the Venezuelan dictator last year. I was there to cover Chavez’s address to folks who had allegedly benefited from Citgo’s Discounted Home Heating Oil Program. Glover left immediately after the introduction and Chavez proceeded to raise the roof for the next two hours. They loved him.

Perhaps what we did not know at the time was that somewhere between calling President Bush “The Devil” and blaming him for passing gas (“Smells of Sulfur!”) in the United Nations and the speech to poor folks in Harlem, Danny Glover must have found time to ask Chavez for movie making money.

Hence the news on a wire this morning: Hugo Chavez to Finance Danny Glover Movies.

According to the report, Venezuela’s Congress approved $20 million for two Glover films – “The General in His Labyrinth” and “Toussaint.”

Hugo Chavez calls himself the leader of the “Bolivarian Revolution.” His anti-American, anti-imperialistic socialism has grown throughout Latin America and helped elect sympathetic leaders in neighboring countries as well – such as Evo Morales of Bolivia. Thus it should come as no surprise that “The General in His Labyrinth” portrays the life of South American liberator Simon Bolivar.

“Toussaint” is a biopic that revolves around the life of Haitian revolution leader Toussaint Louverture – perhaps a homage of a generic revolutionary who supported the French Revolution to further solidify Chavez’s rightful ascension to Castro’s legacy?

Why Che Guevara got passed over is anyone’s guess?!

Here’s the real problem with Danny: He’s facilitating a growing problem south of our border and blurring the seriousness of the situation. Chavez is a real showman – I’ve seen it in person and the whole world saw it on television at the United States. His popularity has skyrocketed these last few years through repeated taunts directed at the administration including President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and even Condoleezza Rice. Chavez even has his own state-run live talk show called “Hello, President!”

If Danny succeeds in showing the most dangerous dictator south of our border – who by the way controls the largest oil reserves in the Southern Hemisphere – the door to Hollywood then we can expect our kids to find socialism very hip and cool in a decade from now and a future administration worrying about a real security threat from a real revolution to the South. Bluntly put: Hollywood Hugo is not good for America even if it is good for Danny Glover.

President Bush gets no kudos from me for his recent Latin America tour which seemed anything but successful in mending ties – yet produced Chavez-organized protests all over the place.

But Hugo Chavez’s recent world tour to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should serve as a wake-up call that this guy doesn’t just want to be a movie star and date Lindsay Lohan. Not to mention, every time Fidel Castro sneezes, Chavez rushes to his bedside to give us all an update.

I just hope Sgt. Murtaugh is willing to turn his back on his Venezuelan pal when the curtain is finally pulled back to reveal a Venezuelan Lethal Weapon.

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