Hollywood reacted with sorrow – and some joy – following the news that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died Tuesday.
“What relief I feel,” Venezuelan/Cuban actress Maria Conchita Alonso tweeted Tuesday. “But the battle continues – the ones who follow are even worse.”
Actor and philanthropist Sean Penn, who frequently visited Venezuela, said he was devastated over the loss of his "close friend."
"Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion," Penn said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Penn called Chávez a friend he “was blessed to have.”
“Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro," he added.
Penn had been a supporter of Hugo Chávez for years after their first meeting back in 2007. In August of last year, the “Mystic River” actor joined the socialist leader on the campaign trail in Venezuela and also flew to Bolivia in December to attend a candlelight vigil for Chávez.
Chávez died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.
But Penn wasn’t the only celeb mourning.
“Savages” director Oliver Stone, who gave tribute to Chávez back in 2009 in his film “South of the Border” claiming he deserves credit for the improvements in Latin America, said on his Twitter page that “Hugo Chávez will live forever in history."
''I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place," Stone told THR in a statement. "[He was] hated by the entrenched classes.”
Argentine soccer star/coach Diego Maradona and film director Michael Moore joined Penn and Stone on Twitter.
“So long commander @Chavezcandanga, we will miss you forver #ChavezVive,” posted Maradona, while Moore said "54 countries around the world allowed the US to detain(& torture) suspects. Latin America, thanks 2 Chávez, was the only place that said no."