Oliver Stone Says Arizona Lawmakers "Dumb" & Blames South of the Border Policies For Immigration


The media is scrutinized in your film. Why does the media distort the news?
I don't know.  I just feel... when I met reporters from the United States down there, they bring a certain bent and it seems to be for the upper classes whether it's inherent or ingrained. I don't know why. They're looking for fault.  They are looking for blame. The people running the media are usually run by the few wealthy families. They are anti-reformers. Historically the interests of the rich, and the oligarchs, and the corporations are not those of the people.

Oliver Stone and Venezuela president Hugo Chavez in South of the BorderIs Hugo Chavez really a threat to the United States?
He truly is not. He is not the enemy of anybody. The first thing you hear from a North American's mouth is 'he's a dictator' or 'he's corrupt' or he's closing down radio stations. That's the first thing out of their mouths. You never hear that he doubled the economy, the poverty rate was cut 50% according to the World Bank statistics, and extreme poverty 70%.  There's no accent on the positive. He is one of the best producers of oil.  Citgo has done good for America.  Of all the oil companies - they are the best environmentally.

Why have United States' Latin American policies hurt South America?  
Clearly the United States are working against the interest of these countries. They quietly put money into the opposition. Most of the media is against these administrations.  This is a struggle. I don't know what's going to happen.  The United States has got a bad policy.  Whether the guy from Bolivia (President) Evo Morales is right, he said the time has come.  They tortured Tupac Katari back in the Spanish empire.  They dismembered him but he said 'I die as one but will come back as millions.'  He (Evo Morales) said, 'Now we are millions'. Whether the people can really hold on when the press is so bad and the mechanisms by which you can defeat someone over the course of time when you have money, you have power, and you beat them down--you beat them down.  It's hard.  It's very hard to keep it up.  Castro is the only one who ever did as an individual which is an amazing record - whatever the criticisms are- he did last. They killed him in every way they could but he still lasted.  That's why I like the guy. He's an underdog.

South of the Border movie posterHow did the interest in Latin America come about?
Gradually.  It wasn't one of my specialties in school. I love Asia too.  I consider myself an international person. My mother is French. I think this is a significant example of injustice. It's so dramatic and bloody a story. And America's treatment of Central and South America.  It's so shocking. Blatant. Blatant.  But it's no less true than what happened in Iran.  Our backing of the coup there in '52.  We do it all over the world.  This is an empire. No kidding. This is a serious and oppressive empire. The Obama speech...in his Nobel Prize speech about the good America has done in the world since World War II, you have to wonder what history he's reading.

Do you think President Barack Obama is changing these policies?

I think they are Bush light.  I see no change. He shook the hands of Chavez and other people in Trinidad and he did nothing. It was a nice gesture but he did nothing.   The Honduras coup happened right after and that was a big deal in South America. In North America, we never remember Honduras. Seven journalists have disappeared or killed.

Would this alliance or formation of South American countries be a positive thing?

This is the biggest transformation at one time in the last 10 years that it's ever happened. There are so many changing the maps in so many countries, I would count 6 maybe 7 countries, that's amazing. It's never happened before because there would always be one guy and then we'd knock him off and then he'd go. And South America remained in this quagmire,  a swamp.  Very rich countries, there is no reason why they can't use their own resources to help themselves but they've always been sort of the colony. What India was to England. What South America was to the North.

What is your view of U.S. and Mexico relations?
This is a double standard. The United States doesn't even talk about Mexico. They had a fraudulent (presidential) election (2006). Obrador (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador) would have won.  They wouldn't allow monitors.  Obrador would've taken Mexico into this group (South American allies), more to the left. We said nothing. It's in our interest to have people for the corporations in these countries on our side.  We're against reform. We want nothing to do with democracy or reform in this country. Our best ally's are always people who are tryants, or killers, and generally speaking have the greatest amount of abuses or torture whether it's Egypt or Israel.

What do you think about the immigration policy in Arizona?
We brought it on ourselves. We have so many rednecks in this country. I think the best thing to do is to have more immigration to get rid of them. Partly the immigration is a result of the free trade policy.  Also the war on drugs is an awful thing. It destroys agricultural resources, farming. Cocoa for example - they are wiping out the cocoa leaf because it had something to do with cocaine.  Screw us.  Who are we to tell other countries what to do?

This war on drugs is a sham. It's a waist of our money. It's like Vietnam all over again. Whenever you use the word war we got to be careful because Americans like that word w-a-r. Then they can throw a lot of money at it. War on terror, war on drugs, war, war, war. I'm so sick of war. I been fighting it all my life.  

We corrupted a lot of Mexico. Corrupted it with this drug sh**! And now we're paying.  I hope to God that they flood us because they will bring new values to the system and we'll get rid of this Sheriff (Joseph M. "Joe" Arpaio) and all these a**holes down there. They are really dumb people.

What's worrisome is not so much him but Janet Napolitano.  After I saw her on tv, I couldn't believe it.  She's in charge on our war on terror. She should have Joe (the Sheriff) working on the war on terror then we'll really get somewhere (sarcastic). You know where we'll end up? We'll end up building a wall around America to keep every immigrant out because every immigrant will be a potential terrorist.
Thank god we have somebody to do the work. They have some of the best people by the way. I think a lot of the great work gets done. It's better to have legal immigration.  The policy is so difficult to get into the country. It would be better if everyone had a full employment economy at home. If I were Mexican in Mexico, I would rather be in Mexico with my family and job and a decent life. If the world were working correctly and if we didn't have free trade which is the old British empire - Mexico would be doing better. 
Any plans to document these problems in Mexico?
No... but maybe this drug war. Maybe one day.  Who knows. It's such a mess Mexico. I love Mexico but there's so much murder. Violence is the result of something.  You have to look for the causes. The causes have a lot to do with the drug war and the concept of making drugs so valuable. When there is money - people behave badly. So why do you create the profit on drugs? If we could take the profit out of drugs by making it legal, they would cut the market enormously.  The legalizing of marijuana in California has hurt them enormously.

What did you learn from visiting countries south of the border?
It's the same old story. Nothing has changed. What's amazing it's still going on because we don't educate ourselves to this pattern. It's a pattern of intervention. There's been more than 50 U.S., North American involvements listed since the turn of the century in Central and South America. Fifty! People don't seem to learn a thing.

Visit Official South Of The Border Website 

Oliver Stone's SOUTH OF THE BORDER is now playing in select movie theaters in New York and Los Angeles.



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