Sunday, July 18, 2010

Venezuela: Syria Strengthens an Alliance Against Israel in Latin America

"The Syrian community in the country is deeply committed to the revolutionary struggle and is the protagonist of the Bolivarian Revolution" ... "We need to unite with the Arab people. Bashar has contributed to this. We have common enemies: the genocidal state of Israel and the U.S. empire. We have the same goals: to lead a socialist revolution," the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez Frias, said on Sunday (27/06/2010) at the Palace of Miraflores.

Chavez is "an Arab leader" and is "in the heart of the Arab world”, President Assad said among applauses during his speech in front of hundreds of enthusiastic guests. "We are not flattering; it's the truth. We see his position on Gaza, we see the historical position of Venezuela," the Syrian president added.


The Syrian President, Bashar Assad, visited Caracas last weekend, before heading to Brazil and Argentina, on a tour of political and economic character that also included Cuba. This tour was essentially of political content, aimed at building an anti-Israeli alliance with the so-called “Bolivarian axis” and two of the most solid supporters of Syria in Latin America: the intermediary President Hugo Chavez and his colleagues Lula da Silva and Cristina Fernandez. It is interesting how, in all of these countries, except Cuba, there is a large colony of Syrian origin (in Argentina they even put Menem as a tenant of the Casa Rosada).

The Syrian leader has also received the full backing of the Venezuelan president to regain the Golan Heights from Israel, suggesting that Venezuela would provide every means at its disposal to achieve this goal. Assad and Chavez are committed to supporting all of Iran’s initiatives, both those designed to circumvent the sanctions adopted by the UN over its nuclear program (and later compounded by those adopted by the United States and the European Union), and those designed to harass Israel before the international public opinion; for example, by sending successive so-called "humanitarian fleet" to the Gaza Strip.

In their proclamations to forge this new alliance, the two presidents have self-identified as “the axis of the brave", as opposed to the "axis of evil" coined by former U.S. President George W. Bush. Indeed, although President Obama does not use that term – which originally referred to Iran, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea, and subsequently amended, – this has not eased the pressure on whom the United States considers sources of terrorist activities or necessary cooperators, under which Tehran and Damascus are still classified.

In the same political line, Bashar Assad has also reaffirmed with Raul Castro Syrian their support for Syrian claims, coupled with those of the Palestinian people. Although the statements condemning Israel have not been as raucous in Havana as they have been in Caracas, the international attempt to marginalize Israel is the same. Moreover, the political identification of the three leaders – Chavez, Castro, and Assad – albeit through different procedures, practically agree.

To complete the agenda, the tour also has an economic and commercial component, although of much smaller scale than that of the political section. There are several agreements being signed to promote bilateral trade, on top of investments in strategic sectors. It is particularly important to build a refinery in Syria, in which 33% of the capital would be Venezuelan, and the remaining 67% would be Syrian, Iranian and Malaysian. The technology will be provided entirely by Caracas. This enhanced relationship will also require expanding the regular air links. The Caracas-Tehran mysterious flight that connects the two capitals every week, with a load that has aroused many suspicions according to the secret services of several countries, could include a stopover in Damascus. However, encouraging tourism may not be the main objective of this action.

Bilateral Agreements:

The Ministers of Agriculture from Venezuela and Syria will produce and distribute olive oil and cotton together. The agreement between the two countries was announced on Saturday night (6/26/2010) in a ceremony held in the Miraflores presidential palace, after a long working meeting between the presidents of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and Syria, Bashar Al Assad, on his visit to Caracas.

All in all, the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, offered to the member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), to include Syria as an observer country of the forthcoming summit of the group. "Although it is something I first consult with the other dignitaries of the member states, I do not think there any objection to achieve it," Chavez said.

Other Declarations:

"Long live Syria! We had a wonderful family time with the Syrian community. I feel like a son of Syria, and you should all feel like children of Venezuela. Jose Marti, the Cuban national hero, said: Homeland is Humanity ", emphasized President Chávez.

The president saw this visit and the signing of agreements as highly strategic, "in order to strengthen the integration of our peoples."

"Capitalism is the greatest enemy of the people. Only with socialism we will be free. We must work hard to consolidate the new pluriplural world, and rid the world from the clutches of imperialism ", he confirmed.

Translated from Bnai Brith Venezuela

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