Venezueala’s marxist leader Hugo Chavez is playing a key role in building the growing Marxist/Muslim anti Western Alliance.
From the latest issue of Australian Marxist journal, Green Left Weekly
Israel is “killing innocent children and whole families”. “They dismantled the legitimate government of Palestine, and thwarted tremendous efforts to achieve peace and establish a Palestinian state”, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez said in an interview with Al Jazeera. The interview was televised on August 4, the day after Chavez ordered the withdrawal of Venezuela’s ambassador in Israel to express indignation at the war on Lebanon and Palestine.
Chavez continued: “Now they are attacking Lebanon … I am telling you with all honesty that the hand of the Americans is spurring them on. This hand is behind the Israeli aggression. It is imperialistic aggression.”
Venezuela has not limited its solidarity with the Lebanese and Palestinians to diplomatic gestures — it has also sent 20,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid. Venezuelanalysis.com reported on August 8 that the same day as Israel withdrew its ambassador, Venezuela “sent a Boeing 707 jet full of aid to Lebanon to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli bombing”.
On August 7, according to Venezuelanalysis.com, a delegation from Venezuela’s National Assembly visited Damascus to meet with Palestinian groups in order to “support and identify as parliament members with the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples”.
The response in the Arab world has been enormous. Chavez was already popular throughout the region for his government’s anti-imperialist policies and for its willingness to use Venezuela’s oil wealth to tackle poverty.
Tariq Ali noted in the March/April New Left Review: “Over the last few years, Chavez has visited the major countries in every continent, embarrassing some of his hosts by demanding a global front against imperialism.”
Ali wrote that an earlier Chavez interview with Al Jazeera “had an electric impact on 26 million Arab viewers. It received the station’s largest ever email response — tens of thousands — with the bulk of them posing a simple question: why can’t the Arab world produce a Chavez?”
Venezuela’s charge d’affaires to Australia, Nelson Davila, announced to cheers at an August 12 Sydney demonstration against the war on Lebanon that if Israel continued its attacks, Caracas would cut all diplomatic ties with the country.
“We cannot have relations with states that attack humble peoples”, Davila explained. The crowd featured a large contingent from the city’s Lebanese community, many of whom waved Venezuelan flags. “The people of South America are with Lebanon!”, Davila declared. His speech was followed by chants of “Chavez! Chavez!”
Following Venezuela’s withdrawal of its ambassador, the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign issued an open letter to Chavez hailing the move: “This courageous step is valued by all of our people as the model of action we would expect the world to take to protest against [Israel’s] continued war crimes …”
The letter explained that “we need to know that we are not alone. The withdrawal of the Venezuelan ambassador has given us new confidence and hope that the solidarity with our cause is gaining strength …” It called on other governments to follow the example of Venezuela.
The Lebanese government also expressed its gratitude, with the country’s president calling Chavez a “Latin American hero”.
Associated Press reported on August 5 that Mahmoud Komati, a representative of Hezbollah, told the Latin America-wide TV channel Telesur that Venezuela’s actions were “an example for revolutionaries” in defending “the oppressed, enslaved and humble peoples of the world”.
Hezbollah’s secretary-general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, expanded on the resistance movement’s view of Chavez in an August 14 interview posted on the website of Turkey’s Party of Labour: “What most of the Muslim states could not do has been done by Chavez by the withdrawal of their ambassador to Israel. He furthermore communicated to us his support for our resistance. This has been an immense source of [morale] for us.”
“Go and wonder around our streets!”, said Nasrallah, and in nearly “every house, you will come across posters of [Argentinean-born revolutionary] Che [Guevara] or Chavez”.
Chavez sees Israel’s war as an extension of US imperialism’s drive to dominate the world on behalf of its corporations. He told Al Jazeera that the “real threat to the world is the imperialistic threat posed by the US, and Israel is one of its imperialistic instruments in this part of the world”. Chavez argued, “We must defeat imperialism in this century, so that this elite will not annihilate the world”.
The solution promoted by the Chavez government is the unity of Third World nations to challenge imperialism, starting with Latin America. Venezuela is pushing for Latin American nations to forge a bloc to counter US domination.