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Sean Penn jumps into Falkland Islands fray

Sean Penn lashes out at the deployment of a British prince to the Falklands. The UK is not amused.

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Penn runs an organization in Haiti dedicated to post-earthquake recovery, and reportedly played a role, with his ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in attempts to release the two Americans imprisoned, and later freed, in Iran.

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He has earned many friends in Latin America. In a televised speech early last year, President Chavez, who had rejected a US nominee for ambassador, said that Penn would be a good candidate. (He also added that director Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, and Bill Clinton would be on his “yay” list.)

But now he has garnered some foes in Britain. Quoted in London’s Daily Mail MP Patrick Mercer criticized Penn. "What on earth has this got to do with Sean Penn? He's neither British nor Argentine and seems to know nothing about the situation," Mr. Mercer said. "A good number of his movies have been turkeys, so I suppose we shouldn't expect much better coming out of his mouth."

Penn's position on the Falklands comes at a tense moment, with Prince William’s deployment, which Britain has called routine (as well as the sending of a warship to the island ahead of the deployment). It has also announced that members of a defense committee will be visiting the Falklands next month.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner says that Britain is “militarizing” the dispute.

Penn apparently agrees. "There are many places to deploy a prince," he said. "It's not necessary when the deployment of a prince is generally accompanied by a warship, to send them into seas of such spilled blood."

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