Continued from page 1

Mr. Chavez also would accept Noam Chomsky, a controversial linguistic professor and self-described “libertarian socialist,” or former President Bill Clinton.

“I hope they name Oliver Stone,” Mr. Chavez said. “I suggest a candidate, Sean Penn or Chomsky. We have a lot of friends there. Bill Clinton.”

Mr. Stone last year directed a fawning film about Mr. Chavez that flopped in Venezuela. Time magazine headlined a report about the director and the dictator a “Love Story.” Mr. Penn recently said anyone who calls Mr. Chavez a dictator should be jailed.

A State Department spokesman this week said career diplomat Larry Palmer is still the top U.S. choice for ambassador. Mr. Palmer angered Mr. Chavez by criticizing Venezuelan ties to communist rebels in Colombia and for commenting on low morale in the Venezuelan military.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.