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Garry Kasparov, the chess champion turned human rights activist, is accusing actors Jamie Foxx and Lukas Haas of buddying up to Nicolas Maduro, the extremely controversial president of Venezuela, for financial gain.
Pictures of Haas and Foxx posing with Maduro surfaced this week, and news of their visit to Venezuela was amplified on media outlets Wednesday.
Now, in a letter and email addressed to both actors on Thursday, Kasparov calls Maduro “a notoriously authoritarian chief of state.” He adds: “We have reason to believe that your visit with one of Latin America’s most notorious strongmen of the last few decades may have been motivated by financial interests and we would like you to clarify this to your millions of fans across the world.”
Foxx and Haas are both repped by LBI Entertainment. Neither actor was available for comment Thursday.
Kasparov asks Foxx and Haas to disclose whether they have financial participation in an “Aragua real estate deal,” referring to the region in Venezuela, or if they are receiving payment for publicizing that deal or any other government initiative in the country. He asserts the real estate deal is falsely labeled a government housing project but it has nothing to do with humanitarian work.
Kasparov wrote his letter and email under the auspices of the Human Rights Foundation, where he is chairman. HRF has long criticized Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, whose socialist revolution was famously supported by actors Sean Penn and Danny Glover.
The former chess great also intends to tweet his displeasure directly to both Haas and Foxx, according to insiders.
His letter links to a 132-page report documenting “a dramatic increase in extreme poverty rates, the highest inflation and murder rates in the world, long lists of political prisoners, torture and extrajudicial killings of students, frequent power blackouts, and massive shortages of medicine and basic foods” in Venezuela under Maduro.
The letter is accompanied by several visual aids outlining the country’s cocaine trade and murder rate, along with photos of political prisoners and a list of things average citizens cannot find except on the black market, including toilet paper, milk and medicine.
“Your recent participation in a propaganda campaign of the Venezuelan regime threatens to undo all the good work you’ve done and to tarnish your public image,” Kasparov tells Foxx and Haas in the letter.
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