The government of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is giving the US actor Danny Glover 18 million dollars to make a film about the Haitian rebel Toussaint L'Ouverture and his revolt against the French and Spanish in the early 1800's. Mons. L'Ouverture was double-crossed by the French, arrested and transported to France; dying there in a prison in the Jura Mountains in 1803.
Whatever one thinks about Mons. L'Ouverture and his rebellion: Dictator Chavez, the proper object of rebellion and imprisonment if ever there was one -- is making his gift to Mr. Glover with malice aforethought. According to The Guardian, the aforementioned tinpot hopes that his gift will ". . .sprinkle Hollywood stardust on his effort to mobilise world public opinion against imperialism and western oppression." All this is going on, mind you, while Chavez muzzles what's left of a free press in Venezuela.
Now buying a movie is a good move on the Dictator's part and it's obvious why he would make it. It's always good policy to have actors and similar idiots on one's side when one's putative enemies are bigger and stronger in hard power terms. Mr. Chavez is the enemy too: he accuses the Americans of plotting invasion; calls the President of the United States a "devil" in the United Nations; gives financial aid and rhetorical support to America's enemies, including Iran.
As I say, it's obvious why Mr. Chavez would do this -- and it's a good move for him. Were I in his shoes, I would be more aggressive with such projects, in fact: sprinkling Hollywood stardust should be easy for him as long as he parrots the appropriate leftist slogans on cue; is nice to visiting professors of the goateed Birkenstock set, as well as the odd actor with his or her paramour of the week; and generous with the checkbook. Meanwhile he can jail who he wants as far as the Stardust and the professors are concerned -- after all, he's on the Right Side.
Chavez, I can understand. He's out for power, and he's pursuing whatever state policies he thinks are appropriate to establish his regime of Justice and Enlightenment or whatever he -- and all those who are wise while residing in range of his police -- might call it. Chavez is a Venezuelan and a foreigner, and hopefully sooner, rather than later, he will get his. Chavez, though he's a foreign enemy, is a rational actor, who plays politics with the best. But Mr. Glover, born in San Francisco, California, USA, and people like him, I totally cannot begin to fathom.