Sean Penn: “[Chávez] is one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet … [Chávez] would say his inspiration is from the people. Chavez announced on December 8, 2012 that he would undergo a new operation after doctors in Cuba detected malignant cells. He was operated on December 11, 2012.
When the Arab Spring erupted across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, Chávez openly criticized those leaders who had been backed by the U.S., such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, while he supported Arab socialist ideals, such as the leadership of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who is currently suspected of preparing chemical weapons to be deployed against his own people. Chávez called Bashar al-Assad “a humanist and a brother” in spite of Assad’s government’s earlier violent crackdown on protesters. Following the outbreak of the Libyan civil war, in which forces opposed to the socialist government rose up against the regime, Chávez, who had always had good international relations with Libya – describing Muammar Gaddafi as a friend of his. Chávez offered to act as an intermediary between the government and the rebel-controlled National Transitional Council (NTC); but the NTC declined the offer. During the subsequent 2011 military intervention in Libya, in which western forces attacked the Libyan army in support of the NTC, Chávez criticized the “indiscriminate bombing” of the country, accusing the United States of simply trying to “lay its hands on Libya’s oil”. Venezuela is also a leading oil exporting country with oil accounting for over 80 percent of its exports. After the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, Chávez proclaimed that “We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr. They assassinated him. It is another outrage.”
According to the U.S. State Department, Venezuela and its capital, Caracas, are both reported to have among the highest per capita murder rates in the world. In Caracas alone, 2,900 murders were reportedly committed between January and November 2011. Armed criminal gangs often operate with impunity throughout the urban areas. The poor neighborhoods that cover the hills around Caracas are extremely dangerous. Armed robberies are common in urban and tourist areas throughout Venezuela, even areas presumed safe and visited by tourists. Crimes committed against travelers are usually money-oriented crimes, such as theft and armed robbery. Incidents occur during daylight hours as well as at night.
Highway robberies are also common. Piracy off the coast of Venezuela is also a concern, but most incidents involve local fishermen.
Private aircraft companies and operators are strongly encouraged to consult with the Venezuelan Civil Aeronautical National Institute regarding current Venezuelan laws and regulations, such as those pertaining to tail markings, registrations, and other required authorizations. Failure to comply with national or local requirements can result in arrest and criminal charges, as well as property seizures.
The Embassy is aware of several instances where women lured U.S. men to Venezuela after establishing “relationships” with them over the Internet. Some of these men were robbed shortly after they arrived in Venezuela. Others were recruited to act as narcotics couriers or “drug mules.” In three instances, the U.S. citizens were arrested at the airport with narcotics in their possession and served extended jail terms in Venezuela.
Security in some of Venezuela’s prisons is lax to nonexistent. Prison populations are largely under the control ofprison gangs with little or no interference from prison authorities. Drugs and weapons are freely available, and prison authorities generally do not provide even basic protections and amenities, including food, so individual prisoners must deal with gang leaders through payments or other mechanisms just to survive.
Sean Penn is known for left-wing political and social activism. He also known for humanitarian work in Katrina-stricken Louisiana and in Pakistan.
The UK Mail Online reported that Penn during his marriage to singer Madonna, he was abusive with drinking, mood-swings, and his taste for pornography. In June of 1987, Sean Penn struck Madonna in the head with a baseball bat. Madonna did not file a complaint because he was about to serve a short jail term for attacking a film extra. In 1989, Madonna filed a police report stating that he bound and gagged her and “smacked” her and “roughed her up”. Penn released her after she agreed to perform a degrading sex act on him, but she fled to call the police. She made it to the sheriff’s office in Malibu where a police lieutenant observed her with a bleeding lip — obviously a victim of physical abuse.
Penn is also known to have attacked photographers.
In March 2010 Penn supported censorship and called for the arrest of people referring to Hugo Chávez of Venezuela as a dictator.