- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 24, 2007

Venezuela’s Congress, the plaything of authoritarian president Hugo Chavez, announced this week it will pony up $20 million for two films produced by “Operation Dumbo Drop” actor Danny Glover. One project is reportedly a biopic about Venezuelan-born South American liberator-hero Simon Bolivar, the other about Haitian revolutionary Touissant L’Ouverture. Given Mr. Chavez’s newfound penchant for the movies, we thought we’d suggest some other ideas for the Castro wannabe.

The Assassination of Pat Robertson — Taking a cue from the incendiary 2004 Sean Penn vehicle “The Assassination of Richard Nixon,” this could be the Venezuelan president’s imaginary payback to the titular “700 Club” televangelist, who in 2005 notoriously suggested it would be a good idea to bump off Mr. Chavez.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” remake — Sure, Walter Salles’ 2004 film drew a flattering portrait of a young Che Guevera — just not quite flattering enough. Hugo’s version will feature Che saving children from a burning house and turning water into enough wine to let a thousand villagers toast socialism.

The Coup — Few outside of Venezuela are familiar with Mr. Chavez’s failed 1992 military coup attempt in Caracas. Consider this a self-styled revolutionary’s treating history as though it were a DVD alternative ending.

The next Oliver Stone project — After flashing an almost jingoistic streak with his “World Trade Center,” Mr. Stone appears to be reverting to form with plans to shoot what is thought to be a new film critical of Bush administration handling of the war in Iraq. The “Alexander” director has become a major box office risk of late. Who better to absorb some of his next film’s losses than a foreign partner with oil revenue to burn, a passion for cinema and anti-imperialism — and enviable marketing muscle in Caracas?

Sicko — A documentary about the superiority of Cuban health care and the woeful inequalities of the American private system. D’oh. Too late.

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