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Maria Conchita Alonso Writes Open Letter to Sean Penn, Criticizes His Support For Hugo Chavez

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DailyNews: Dear Sean Penn - Please stop spouting support for Hugo Chavez.

That's the message "Running Man" actress Maria Conchita Alonso has for the Oscar-winning actor.

She states the decree in an open letter posted on

"Even though I have great respect for your artistic talent," Alonso said in the letter, "I was appalled by a recent television interview where you vigorously showed support for the regime of Hugo Chavez."

The interview in question occurred during a recent appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher," the HBO talker where Penn stated that journalists should go to prison for calling Venezuela's leader a "dictator."

"There should be a bar in which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies," Penn said, noting that members of the "mainstream media" have repeatedly referred to the South American president as a dictator despite the fact that he has been reelected numerous times.

Penn called these elections "transparent," but Alonso took him to task for this claim.

"Then WHY didn't the government allow a manual recount of the votes and computer information when doubt set in?" she said in the letter.

"On what are you basing your conclusions?" she added. "I strongly recommend that you read a report by the U.S. State Department written in 2009 entitled 'The Fraudulent Elections in Venezuela.'"

"Chavez did win his first elections," the former Miss Venezuela wrote, "but like Hitler, he betrayed what the country gave him."

Alonso, who was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela, details her love for the country, but expresses sadness at how she feels Chavez has damaged the nation.

"It's startling to observe how Venezuela, where I was happily raised, is fast becoming Cuba's mirror image," she wrote, stating how Chavez is overseeing the "dismantling of fundamental democratic rights deserved by its people and citizens of the world."

The "Predator 2" star even cites Penn's Jewish father, claiming that Chavez is anti-Semitic, and that "Jewish-Venezuelan families have emigrated because the Chavez government robbed their personal files when their temples and offices were [attacked] in 2008."

"My intention isn't to convince you," Alonso said in her letter, "but to let you know what is truly happening in this beautiful country of noble people."

"I would encourage you to investigate in depth the 'inside story' and realize for yourself the dark side behind the person you choose to idolize."

Hugo Chavez, who took power in Venezuela in 1999, has notoriously clashed with the United States since being elected. He famously called former President George W. Bush "the devil."

The 55-year-old former soldier has been criticized by politicians in the United States and abroad for the suppression of local media and changing election laws to cement his power.

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