You don’t see this every day: A Hollywood actress and musician took to the streets of Washington Friday to demand U.S. government action — not to mandate carbon-neutral toilets or provide universal health care for cats, but to take on an autocratic socialist regime.
The Washington Post’s David Montgomery reports that Maria Conchita Alonso, appearing in front of the White House along with “hundreds of fired-up Venezuelan-Americans,” planted a big kiss on Old Glory while “holding her rescue Chihuahua Tequila.”
Conchita Alonso never quite made it to the A list, but she’s been in some good movies, including Paul Mazursky’s sadly forgotten Moscow On the Hudson, which was one of the best pro-western statements of the Cold War specifically because it eschewed ideological hawkery in favor of a sentimental/liberal celebration of American free markets, social laissez-faire and abundance.
But the actress has been taking a harder line with Venezuela’s Bolivarian paradise. Montgomery reports:
She’s been an outspoken foe of late Hugo Chavez and his successor for years — remember her celebrated shouting match with Sean Penn in LAX in 2011? Penn has expressed support for the social goals of the Bolivarian Republic. In chummier times, the pair co-starred in the 1988 film “Colors.”
(For the record, Hugo Chávez’s successor is Nicolás Maduro, but I can sympathize with Montgomery’s not bothering to look it up; because really, who cares what his name is?)
The Post has some fun with Conchita Alonso’s fiery antics before specifying what the activists are hoping to achieve:
The crowd carried American and Venezuelan flags, and sang the sonorous Venezuelan national anthem, twice. They carried signs in English — “Sanction violators of human rights” — and chanted in Spanish — “Who are we? Venezuela! What do we want? Liberty!”
The sanctions bills would cut visas for certain officials and freeze assets.
“We don’t want to hurt our brothers down there,” [Demonstrator Ernesto] Ackerman said. “We want to get those sanctions to the people who are the dictators.”