At left, a student protester is cold-cocked by a Chavista thug in Caracas, Venezuelastan. Venezuela News and Views has more on the beating. On left, a Pakistani protester is beaten outside the High court in Lahore, Pakistan on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007.
That’s what was seen in the message sent by the latest visitor to Miraflores Palace, supermodel Naomi Campbell, who gushed “amazement” at the “love and encouragement” in the Venezuelan dictatorship as students battled riot police in the streets below.
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It wasn’t just an aberration. When the Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Hugo Chavez in August 2005, other street battles occurred beneath the balcony as the reverend praised the dictator.
Hollywood has a particular soft spot. Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn, Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte have paraded through, some (like Glover) taking Chavez’s cash, others merely seeking a means of expressing their loathing of President Bush.
But Miraflores Palace isn’t about President Bush anymore. It’s now a launchpad for Chavez’s assault on what’s left of Venezuela’s democracy. As Campbell hugs Chavez and praises his handout programs, Chavez’s real game, the sinewy consolidation of his permanent power, is well under way.
Well, obviously the difference between the two countries is less Hollywood celebrities.
Even Hollywood keeps a certain distance from unstable Islamic regimes.