Sean Penn or Bust! Hugo Chávez Insists on A-Listers for Ambassadors

94741868 Sean Penn or Bust! Hugo Chávez Insists on A Listers for AmbassadorsLast week Barack Obama retired Larry Palmer of his duties as ambassador to Venezuela after President Hugo Chávez disapproved of the selection.

Why did El Jefe say adios to the longtime American diplomat? He didn’t have that Hollywood wattage, baby! When the U.S. chooses an envoy to Chávez’s personal plaything of a South American nation, he gets the stars he wants. And in this case, that means Sean Penn, Oliver Stone or, for a slightly different flavor, Noam Chomsky.

“I hope they name Oliver Stone. I’ll suggest a candidate,” Hugo said in a televised speech, The Guardian reported. “Sean Penn or Chomsky. We have a lot of friends there.”

Another hot shot on the short list? Bubba himself, Bill Clinton. Hey, look! He’s even buddy-buddy with Hillary! They met at Saturday’s inauguration of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and sparks were flying.

“I said to Señora Clinton ‘How is your husband?'” Chávez explained, regaling the audience. “But I made a mistake because I speak very bad English and I said ‘How is your wife?’ She laughed, then I said husband.”

Though Noam Chomsky might be the easiest to persuade — who wouldn’t want to trade chilly MIT for sun and palm trees? — we’re pulling for Penn to take on the position. Playing second banana to the world’s most hilarious dictator just seems Jeff Spicoli’s cup of tea.

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nfreeman at observer.com |@nfreeman1234