September 29th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

Chavez: I asked Ahmadinejad for hikers' release, at actor's behest

[Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday he called and sent a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asking for the release of detained American hikers at the behest of actor Sean Penn.

Americans Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were released from an Iranian prison last week, after 781 days in captivity.

Chavez said he considers Penn a friend, and after the two spoke about the hikers, he agreed to add his voice directly with the Iranian president.

"If this call and message helped a little, I am glad. Even if it didn't," he said.

Fattal, Bauer and Bauer's now-fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were arrested in July 2009, with Iran saying they strayed across the unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Shourd was released in 2010.

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Filed under: Iran • Venezuela
soundoff (362 Responses)
  1. jo

    Thanks a pantload Sean. These idiots were probably threatened that if they didn't come back to the US and denounce it they would be hunted down and killed. They're fools, they could have stayed there and no one in the US would really care. Just young, stupid fools.

    September 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Priori

    So Hugo's on Sean's speed dial now? To chat somewhat virtually with the bigwigs of Iran? Any chance Ms Madonna's Kaballah &/or Brittany/kissy sides are maybe a bit hissy about the winks and nods going on between her ex and that sweetheart in Iran who says that there was no holocaust, and that there are no gays in his country?

    September 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NW1000

    So, Chavez did it and the Boob did not. Ah ha...

    September 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fr33th1nk3r

    So Sean Penn is now in cahoots with Hugo Chavez? Now there can be no doubt he is a subversive, anti-American....

    September 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bay area , San Jose white male

    Elite liberals will be culled this election . These Sean Penns think there was a conservative waive last November.... Well it's going to be a conservative TSUNAMI in 2012. True Americans will vote to protect this country.

    Then , no pompous hollywooder will side-step the president. Cmon! Our 2 sworn enemies[ahmadinejad and Chavez] . why does Sean Penn have all these connections?
    I don't know if the Hollywood elitist left's regime will ever fall.

    September 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rags

    Chavez is a known liar so we don't know for certain whether Penn was involved or not.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      If you really did your homework you would see that Chavez is really not a liar. Stop listening to the media and find out the truth and see how we are trying to control his country's resources. please stop being so dumb

      September 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • mc

      He never lies? He claims the US is going to invade at any minute. I did a little research (though for a millisecond), and that is a lie. Everything that comes out his mouth in regards to the US is a lie, genius.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben James

      Chavez in no liar. You on the other hand make me wonder....

      September 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      You are a Loose Change fool. Go to Venezuela. Talk to people who used to live in Venezuela and see how they feel about it now. It's not a media perspective. Chavez isn't squeaky clean like you'd like to believe.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Whatever. If he helped free the hikers, then he did a good thing. If he's lying, who cares?

      September 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • gzaes

      I have to agree with J ... people should go down to Venezuela and ask people who live there.. I'm venezuelan and I now live here in the USA and you have no idea how much damage he's done to our country!... you all think the media just likes to talk him down, but that isnt true! he is a very bad man

      September 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      and I'll agree with GZAES. I've been down there recently. I know quite a few people who have fled. The propaganda there is disgusting, despite the people being awesome and the countryside being beautiful.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick springfield

      Chavez was created because as a kid he saw what Henry Kissinger and the Kennedy, JBL, then Nixon presidencies did to the Central and South American continents. Kissinger killed tens of thousands of people in Chile just to install Pinochet into office. Kennedy and Nixon allowed US oil companies to devastate countries like Ecuador in the name of quick profits. That ecological ruin still goes on today because it was so large in scope. Much of that region from Chile to Brazil hates the USA because of Kissinger's death squads that were funded by Kennedy and Nixon. Chavez is a product of the genocides and he's got an axe to grind.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • indepvot

      Don't over estimate the high school graduate, Sean Penn. His daddy directed "LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE" and that's how he got recognition through no talent of his own. Now he sees himself as a political, world affairs expert.
      Let him mouth off even though no one else cares about his grandiose illusions of himself. STFU, PENN! You don't matter.

      September 30, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rags

    Mark Sand said:
    "Fascinating how many right wing trolls comment on every news story."

    You're here with the rest of us. Joined the right wing troll crowd, eh?

    September 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Carson

    I endorse this comment.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hugh Jorgan

    Sean Penn is a tool. He brought his own camera crew to "rescue" people in NO after Katrina. It was all staged and fake. He takes himself way too seriously and I think he was well portrayed in Team America: World Police. EFU Sean Penn.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • me again

      kinda like Sarah Palin picking and choosing her media coverage and ending up with her own private "Media" team.
      STOP THE LIES!!!!

      September 30, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
    • indepvot

      Agreed. Penn takes himself seriously, while Americans don't give a sheet what he thinks nor does.

      September 30, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. as if...

    ...A-jab and Chavez never talk about getting invaded and occupied like all the rest. Both are scurrying like rabbits preparing for the coming A merican invasion.(s) I mean, how long can one nattion consume 3 times what it produces and still think debt is a budget crisis? We can't make enough to get fat so we take-it from others. Especially is they have bananas AND oil.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. slupdawg

    This whole story makes me want to barf.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. as if...

    @Hugh...Matt Daymun. lmao "A merica, Fu*k, Yeah! Come to save the mother fu*king day now!"

    September 29, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dc3gal

    Sean Penn is friends with Chavez!??!!??!?!!? If this is true, well that just confirms what I have been thinking all along about the guy and why I lost total respect for Scarlett Johansson when she started dating him.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Choad

    Sean Penn has saved people, won an Oscar (two, actually) and banged Madonna (when she was still in her prime). Sean Penn is awesome!

    September 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      who didn't bang madonna in her prime ?:)

      September 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      I didn't. She asked, but I was busy that night. 🙂

      September 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jay

    Agreed, Sean was right there in front of every camera. You may have heard, but presidents require massive security. Sean Penn doesn't (b/c he's a d-bag).

    September 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
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