March 06 - Hollywood's Sean Penn and director Oliver Stone offer their condolences after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. John Russell reports.
Hollywood actor Sean Penn and film director Oliver Stone were among those in the entertainment industry mourning the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday (March 05) after a two-year battle with cancer. Penn, a long time supporter of Chavez, first met the late president back in 2007 and the two forged a friendship that included the actor attending a campaign rally in 2012. "Today the United States lost a friend it never knew it had," Penn said in a statement. "And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela." Filmmaker Oliver Stone paid tribute to Chavez, who was the subject of the director's 2009 documentary, "South of the Border." ''I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place. Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history," in a statement issued by Stone. "My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned." Chavez's death was announced in a televised address earlier on Tuesday afternoon, ending 14 years of tumultuous rule.