Oliver Stone Denies Directing Venezuela Coup Film
CARACAS, Venezuela - Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone said on Monday that he was not directing a movie about the 2002 coup in Venezuela despite an announcement to the contrary by President Hugo Chavez.
"Rumors that I am directing a film about the 2002 coup in Venezuela are untrue and unfounded," Stone said in a statement released by his publicist.
On Sunday, leftist firebrand Chavez told the South American country that Stone was making a film about the short-lived coup that Chavez says was planned by United States Washington denies the charge.
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."
"So there will be a movie," Chavez said during his weekly television talk show. "Could it be that the government of the empire will try to prevent the filming of a movie about a coup that they themselves planned and carried out? Let's see if they can."
Dissident military officers joined with opposition politicians to seize power in Venezuela on April 12, 2002, following reports Chavez had resigned. The power grab came after more than a dozen people were killed by gunmen during a huge opposition march.
Chavez, insisting he never resigned, was returned to power by supporters and loyal troops two days later. The coup has been a recurring theme in Chavez's war of words with Washington, which portrays the Venezuelan leader as a menace to democracy.
Stone won best directing Oscars for Vietnam War movies "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July," and directed a 2003 documentary, "Comandante," about Cuban President Fidel Castro, a Chavez ally.