Oliver Stone’s Portrait of a Thug: Ridiculous!

Again and again, Hollywood types make Hugo Chavez out to be some sort of hero. Yet his country is sinking deeper into an economic morass than ever before. A story in this weekend’s WSJ detailed what market analysts are saying, that after contracting almost 5% last year, and the same the year before, Venezuela’s state-controlled economy will sink 3% this year.

Store shelves are bare, roads are pathetic, and people are barely eaking out a living, with three ‘official’ exchange rates, all half the true rate that is the defined by the black market.

What a fitting backdrop as director Oliver Stone releases a new documentary meant to show Americans how benevolent and kind he is. But every Venezuelan I’ve ever met says he has been a disaster, and that he’s set the country back decades with his socialist policies.

In Stone’s film, called “South of the Border,” the American director is seen riding around in an SUV and Gen. Raul Baduel is seen praising the great dictator, er, president. Yet as the story details, in 2009, Chavez stripped his former pal of all power and jailed him because he did not go along with the strong man’s attempt at changing the constitution and making him president for life.

Ron Radosh suggests that instead of watching Stone’s film, viewers check out “The Hugo Chavez Show” a PBS Frontline production that will tell the real story. It’s now in my queue.