May 21, 2006

Oliver Stone to make Venezuela coup film: Chavez

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez said on Sunday that Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone
was planning to film a movie about the 2002 coup in Venezuela
that briefly ousted the former army officer.

Chavez, a harsh critic of the United States, says U.S.
authorities were behind the botched coup that toppled his
government for less than two days. U.S. officials dismiss his

Stone, who won best-directing Oscars for Vietnam War movies
"Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July," and directed a 2003
documentary, "Comandante," about his meeting with Cuban
President Fidel Castro, a Chavez ally, would team up with
British producer John Daly, who worked on "The Last Emperor,"
Chavez said.

"Top news -- two filmmakers join forces to make movie about
the coup in Venezuela," Chavez said during his weekly Sunday
broadcast. He said his government had given them permission to
announce plans for the movie at the Cannes film festival.

An alliance of politicians and dissident military officers
assumed power in Venezuela on April 12, 2002, following reports
Chavez had resigned after more than a dozen people were killed
when gunmen opened fire during a huge opposition march.

Chavez insisted he never resigned and he was returned to
power by supporters and loyal troops on April 14. The coup has
been a recurring theme in Chavez's war of words with
Washington, which portrays the Venezuelan leader as a menace to

Relations between the United States and oil supplier
Venezuela remain tense, particularly as Chavez cultivates
alliances with U.S. foes like Iran and Cuba and blasts U.S.
foreign policies as "imperialist domination."

The State Department announced last week the United States
would no longer sell arms to Venezuela, insisting the South
American nation had failed to cooperate in global efforts to
fight terrorism.