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. citizen

    Chavez has ruined Venezuela. Am appropriate friend for Penn.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JT took me a few seconds to realize what are meat curtains but I think I've got it now. Are they also called bat wings?

    September 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sean Penn and Andy Dick Movie as Venezuela's Pres & VP

    That'd be hilarious! Hugo Chavez has teabagged, I mean trained, Sean for quite some time.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • AndyBlue

      Another tea party member creating multiple screen name.... You aren't fooling anyone. People are sick of the teabagger extremists.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don

    While I can't say I'm a big fan of Sean Penn's politics or Hugo Chavez's leftist policies, I must say that something good came out of both of them here.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • LariSpitler

      Seriously you believe for two seconds that these two whack jobs had anything to do with this. . . Cmon, really.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaveman

      Anyone dumb enough to believe that traitor piece of dirt has any legitimate part in this political stunt is truly clueless.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Derweissengel

    Ahmadooshbag wouldn't know Sean Penn if he tripped over him.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      You'd be surprised what these dictators like, most of them sectetly watch American media, especially movies

      September 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • goneballistic

      Actually, Sean Penn has visited Chavez. To bad we let Sean come back.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • 532

      actually he does. sean penn has visited iran before, and met with top iranian government officials

      September 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bailey

    wow...A bit shocked I must admit, but kudos to both for their part

    September 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. STEVE

    Actually, bat wings are when they stretch over the mouth and touch both ears. Those are good too!

    September 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Meat curtains also known as "lunch meat"

      September 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sean Penn wants to be in chavez's will

    Hugo got the Canadian oil company to pay for the geologic work, build the infrastructure, then rescinded their partnership in the name of 'Nationalism.' Hugo's nationalism is hugo chavez. It's all he's vested his country in: his further-acquisition of media control and political/judicial power. There is a lot to be gained in the propaganda market by Sean Penn. Sean's capitalizing on the situation, well.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe in Pittsburgh

    I don't that any Chavez said did anything positive. More likely it was the million dollar random the families paid that freed the prisoners.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rg

    They both must be fans of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"


    September 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • harmonium

      Maybe he let him have his way while watching Fasttimes!!

      September 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris R

    As a note to all the people that say Sean Penn is an ineffectual fool he's actually been on the ground in Haiti since the earthquake running an incredibly successful relief organization called the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. He's not running it from New York or LA. He's running it from the middle of a refuge camp in Haiti. In fact, his organization was just awarded a $2.25 million grant to help move more Haitians out of the camps and into homes. A lot of stars talk a good game or maybe host a fundraiser. Penn is actually doing the work. Seriously, google what the man is doing in Haiti. Maybe most actors are overly impressed with themselves. Penn seems to have a reason to be impressed.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zed Mezcalhead

      So I take it you got a nice set of knee pads. When you get a chance to look up, tell him we all say 'hi', buddy.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Zed Mezcalhead

    Sean Penn. Funny, funny stuff.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CNN is part of the media blackout!

    Yeah, Sean Penn. Funny stuff. Funny, and completely irrelevant filler. Perhaps CNN could take some time out of their busy day of entertaining us all, and perhaps report on some REAL NEWS!!! Like the OccupyWallStreet movement that is sweeping the country and setting the stage for nationwide flash mobs. Doesn't that seem like news to anyone else???
    CNN is dead to me.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. saywhat

    Ooh! All that hate oozing out of anti-Sean Penn lot.
    A brilliant actor and one who is often seen helping out the less fortunate. And an American who has the gall to tell it as it is.
    Irony is that these same people call all others crazy.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I think you need to watch movies starring people other than Sean Penn. As for his "altruistic" motives...spare me. He's a person of average (at best) intelligence but far Left leanings who is able to make a lot of noise because of his acting. Unfortunately.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    You've GOT to be kidding me. Seriously...Sean Penn? One of the most embarrassing things about this country is that some people even REMOTELY care about what somebody of Sean Penn's "intellect" has to say. He's at least half a bubble off center, and the fact that he's "friends" with one of the true despots in the world says a lot. Non-story.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
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