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Venezuela welcomes Hamas and counts Iran as “great ally”

16.02.2006
 
Venezuela welcomes Hamas and counts Iran as “great ally”

Caracas deepens its differences with US foreign policies

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez looks decided to go ahead with his self-denominated “anti-imperialistic” foreign policy despite Washington’s open and shady threats. This week, Caracas made public two moves meant to help US foes in Middle East. Hamas leaders will be received by Mr. Chavez “with pleasure”, as the South American oil-rich country confirmed that counts Iran as “great ally of brothers”.

“If they come, it will be a pleasure,” Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel told reporters when asked by reporters whether the government would receive a Hamas delegation. What is the problem with that? Aren’t they going to be received by Russia, Brazil and Argentina? And what’s more, they have a majority with the Palestinian people; they just won an election.”

Following Russia’s president Vladimir Putin decission to undermine US attempts to isolate the Hamas government in Palestine, Venezuela confirmed last week that it is ready to study Hamas appeals to the international community. The decission is part of Chavez’s policiy aimed to strenghten ties with Arab nations as part of efforts by the world’s No. 5 oil exporter to break its traditional political and economic reliance on the United States.

Later this week, the Venezuelan National Assambly received Iranian parliament speaker Gholam-Ali-haddad-Adel in Caracas to discuss further cooperation among both nations.

"From our souls, we feel that our two nations are brothers and that together with other peoples we are carrying the flag of dignity and sovereignty, just as the North American empire (the United States) is beginning to decay," said Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela's National Assembly. He said that Iran and Venezuela will boost their links by sharing experiences, especially in economic development, science, technology and social affairs.

Adel, on his first visit to Caracas, expressed support for the Venezuelan government and thanked the country for voting in support of Iran at the meetings of the International Atomic EnergyAgency (IAEA).

Contacts at the highest levels are frequent between Caracas and other Arab capitals, mainly those that are part of the OPEC, that also includes Venezuela as one of the most active members. But have increased significantly since Hugo Chavez rose to power in the late 1990’s.

Hernan Etchaleco

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