Famous foe of imperialism Oliver Stone just premiered his documentary “Mi Amigo Hugo” (“My Friend Hugo”) in the Cuban colony of Venezuela. As the title suggests, the film honors Hugo Chavez, Cuba’s late Venezuelan viceroy. The film was released amidst lavish celebrations on the first anniversary of Chavez’ death and broadcast on the Cuba-run TV channel of the Cuban viceroyalty of Venezuela. For the occasion, Raul Castro himself graced his South American dominion with a visit.
“Venezuela today is a country that is practically occupied by the henchmen of two international criminals, Cuba's Castro brothers,” recently declared Luis Miquilena who served as Hugo Chavez’ Minister of Justice for three years before finally resigning in disgust. “They (the Cubans) have introduced in Venezuela a true army of occupation. The Cubans run the maritime ports, airports, communications, the most essential issues in Venezuela. We are in the hands of a foreign country. This is the darkest period in our history.”
The Chavez documentary comes twelve years after the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival of Oliver Stone’s documentary “Comandante,” which honored Venezuela’s foreign emperor himself: Fidel Castro.
''I am like a prisoner,'' Castro laments to Stone near the beginning of “Comandante.” The Stalinist dictator was referring to the travails that accompany his selfless vocation of running Cuba. “This is my cell,'' he sighs while pointing around. At this declaration from the jailer of more political prisoner per-capita than Stalin, the famously “edgy” Oliver Stone reveals no hint of a smirk. And no snarkiness tinged his follow-up questions, most of which hovered right over home plate. When a few questions strayed from the banal talking points and Castro answered evasively, Stone twinkled that, “his elusiveness is always charming.''
''Fidel is magnetic and charismatic,'' Stone concluded. “He is a movie star.''
Alas, he’s getting a little long in the tooth for close-ups. So Stone has since shifted the focus of his camera lenses over to the more camera-friendly subject of Castro’s colony Venezuela.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.