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Oliver Stone: Responding to Leopoldo López [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 04:44 PM
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Oliver Stone: Responding to Leopoldo López
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Oliver StoneAward-winning filmmaker
Posted: July 20, 2010 02:17 PM
Responding to Leopoldo López

Leopoldo López, a right-wing opposition leader in Venezuela who supported the military overthrow of the democratically elected government there in 2002, complains about my film (South of the Border), saying "Mr. Stone argues that the assault on human rights is of secondary concern."

But my film argues the opposite. It's just that the "assault on human rights" in Venezuela has come from the right, from Mr. Lopez and his allies. One of the first decrees by the coup government that Mr. Lopez supported was to abolish the elected Congress and the Supreme Court. Protesters were shot, and officials of the constitutional government arrested. And the victims of political violence to this day in Venezuela are also victims of the right - mostly poor peasants organizing for land reform, killed by landowners.

The struggle in Venezuela is not so much about one man, President Hugo Chávez, as the right would have us believe. It is a political battle between the left and the right. Not surprisingly, as in the rest of South America, it is the right that has the ugly record on human rights and issues of democracy. And it is the right that represents the rich -- López was former mayor of one of the wealthiest areas of Caracas -- against the majority of the people, much as in the United States.

Mr. López offers a "Tea Party" view of Venezuela, in which everything that is wrong with the country is the fault of the left government, and Chávez -- like Obama for the Tea Partiers -- is a "dictator." López is very selective in his use of statistics. He does not tell the reader that since the Chávez government got control over the national oil industry, poverty has been cut in half, extreme poverty by more than 70 percent, and thousands of doctors added to the public sector now provide health care for the poor.

More:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oliver-stone/responding-t...


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