Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hit new levels of ego-infused insanity last month when he had the bones of South American hero Simon Bolivar dug up to prove some weird conspiracy theory, and then live tweeted about crying over the remains. Inspired by the insanity, Christopher Hitchens recalls a trip he took to visit Chavez in 2008 for Slate (Sean Penn was there, naturally), in which Chavez expressed doubts over whether the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the moon landing ever actually happened.
Hitchens visited Chavez in 2008 in Venezuala on a trip accompanied by historian Douglas Brinkley and Chavez's Hollywood best friend Sean Penn.
While aboard the dictator's private plane, Penn asked Chavez if he would be happy to see Osama Bin Laden caught.
"I don't know anything about Osama Bin Laden that doesn't come to me through the filter of the West and its propaganda," replied Chavez as part of an argument in which Hitchens claims Chavez "essentially doubted the existence of al-Qaida, let alone reports of its attacks on the enemy to the north."
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"There is film of the Americans landing on the moon," continued Chavez. "Does that mean the moon shot really happened? In the film, the Yanqui flag is flying straight out. So, is there wind on the moon?"
[Science fact: The moon does not have wind, but there was a bar stitched into the top of the flag used so it would look like it was flying out.]
Hitchens comes to the conclusion that if Chavez isn't down right insane, he at least has "many of the symptoms of paranoia and megalomania."