Venezuelan/Palestine Relations: Based on Brotherhood, Solidarity and Mutual Support
by Stephen Lendman
Hugo Chavez recognized Palestinian self-determination saying “I address these words to the United Nations General Assembly…to ratify, in this day and in this setting, Venezuela’s full support of the recognition of the Palestinian state: of Palestine’s right to become a free, sovereign and independent state.”
Chavez was the first head of state to condemn Israel’s 2006 aggression against Lebanon.
He publicly accused Israel of “going mad and inflicting on the people of Palestine and Lebanon the same thing they have criticized, and with reason: the holocaust.”
“But this is a new holocaust,” he said, with the help of America – a rogue state responsible for regional genocide.
After Israel’s 2008-09 naked aggression on Gaza, Chavez severed diplomatic ties with Israel, condemning its lawlessness.
On April 27, 2009, then Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro (current Venezuelan president) established formal diplomatic relations with Palestine.
Chavez condemned Israeli genocide saying “(t)he question is not whether the Israelis want to exterminate the Palestinians. They’re doing it openly.”
At the same time, he affirmed “the right of Israel to live, like those in every other country. They all have the same rights, and that includes the future Palestinian state. But Israel must respect this principle of self-determination for Palestinians.”
In June 2010, Chavez accused Israel of “financing the Venezuelan opposition. There are even groups of Israeli terrorists, of the Mossad, who are after me trying to kill me.”
He called Israel a “terrorist and murderous state. I take this opportunity to condemn again from the bottom of my soul and my guts the state of Israel: Cursed be, state of Israel! Cursed is cursed, terrorists and assassins.”
Israel is “the assassin arm of the United States. (O)ne day the genocidal state of Israel will be put in its place.”
Last week, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said “(f)ollowing instructions from President Nicolas Maduro, we will raise our representation in the heroic Palestinian states to embassy level.”
The announcement followed Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki’s Caracas visit last week.
At the time, 18 bilateral agreements were signed in areas of education, trade, energy, agriculture, health, defense and security.
Maduro expressed support for Palestine saying it “will forever count on all the solidarity of the people of the liberators, the people of Venezuela.”
“The project of the Palestinian people does not exclude anyone. It doesn’t feel superior to anyone. It doesn’t make concentration camps for anyone. (It’s) about living and coexisting in peace.”
Maduro offered to work for greater Caribbean support for Palestine.
Al-Maliki said “(w)e are marking a very important path in the bilateral relations between Venezuela and Palestine, a relation based not only on political support between both countries, but on exchange of the Revolution.”
He was granted the honorary title of “illustrious citizen” of Caracas and given symbolic keys to the city.
Rodriguez and Al-Maliki signed an agreement designating Caracas and East Jerusalem sister cities.
Since 2013, Venezuela supplied Palestine with cheap oil. During Israel’s summer 2014 naked aggression on Gaza, Maduro “vigorously condemn(ed) the unfair and disproportionate military response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian people.”
In January, Palestinian ambassador to Venezuela Linda Sabeh Ali called the Bolivarian nation “a free land of liberators.”
“We dream of a free country like this,” she said. She expressed gratitude to its government for supporting the Palestinian people.
She highlighted the importance of close bilateral cooperation in vital areas of mutual interest – including letting around 1,000 Palestinians receive free university education in Venezuela, not offered them in Israel.
Israeli education from kindergarden to the highest levels vilifies Arabs – calling them hostile, deviant, cruel, violent, bloodthirsty, immoral, inferior and committed to Israel’s destruction.
Young minds are brainwashed before they’re old enough to understand. Arabs are demonized for not being Jews.
It’s a short leap from demonization to genocide. It’s been ongoing against Palestinians since 1948.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.