Sean Penn At Hugo Chavez Vigil, Praises Ailing Leader

Actor Sean Penn appeared at a vigil for Hugo Chavez, expressing good wishes for the Venezuelan President at the candlelight event in La Paz on Monday.

Penn was at the Chavez vigil to show support for the ailing socialist leader, appearing at the December 10 event in Bolivia and speaking words of praise through a translator.

At the Chavez vigil, Penn spoke highly of his friend and political ally, telling those in attendance that the President is an important force in world politics as well as a personal friend. Penn started:

“We admire President Chavez. For his courage. For his fair mindedness … He is one of the most important forces that we have on this planet. And I will wish him nothing but that great strength that he showed over and over again. I do it in love and I do it in gratitude.”

Penn also spoke of Chavez’s influence on him as an American, adding:

“I just want to say that from a very American point of view of my friend President Chavez, it is only possible to be as inspiring as he is – as a two way street … And he would say that his inspiration is the people.”

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Penn’s presence at the Chavez vigil followed the leader’s third set of treatments for cancer — forcing the the Venezuelan President to continue therapy.

Chavez underwent the treatment in Havana while Penn and supporters gathered in Bolivia to wish him well — the actor had been visiting the country to support American jailed in the country on charges of corruption, Jacob Ostreicher.