President Maduro: No One Dares to Ask us to
By Eman Abusidu
January 11, 2022
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
President Maduro: 'No one dares to ask us to abandon
By Eman Abusidu
Under the presidencies of Hugo Chavez (1999-2013) and now Nicolas
Maduro (2013-present), Venezuela has expressed strong solidarity with
the Palestinian cause. It was the first country in Latin America to
recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 nominal borders. In 2009,
Venezuela and the Palestinian Authority established diplomatic relations
and announced the opening of a Palestinian embassy in Caracas.
Diplomatic ties remain close, and Venezuela has supported the
Palestinian cause at the UN.
They have also established and
economic ties, including oil deals, emergency aid and scholarships for
Palestinian medical students. Venezuela was the first country to grant
free travel and movement to the Palestinians without a prior visa, and
grants residence rights to Palestinians. According to President Maduro,
his country would "like to give more" for Palestine. His support is
"No one dares to ask us to abandon Palestine," explained
the Venezuelan president during an interview with Al Mayadeen, which was
broadcast on his country's state television. "We cannot accept such
demands. It is a sin to simply think about abandoning Palestine or
leaving it by itself."
Maduro pointed out that Palestine is
humanity's holy land, which is held in high regard. "We hear the name
'Palestine' loud and clear." He condemned the crimes of the Israeli
occupation and insisted that the settler-colonial state will pay for
them one day.
These crimes include the situation in the Sheikh
Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem and Israel's military
offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in May last year.
"The occupation's crimes, violations and abuses were indescribable, and
are unmatched in the world."
The Venezuelan leader expressed his
conviction that Palestine deserves unwavering and fearless support from
all world leaders, who he addressed directly: "Palestine is crying out
for help; Palestine is asking for your support, crimes are committed
against it every day, and its youth are killed every day."
Venezuela always takes the lead in condemning any aggression on Gaza.
During the 2014 Israeli military offensive, Maduro was adamant that his
government "vigorously condemns the unfair and disproportionate military
response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian
people." After the 2008-9 bombardment of Gaza, the then Venezuelan
President Chávez broke off diplomatic ties with Israel, expelled the
Israeli ambassador and his staff and closed the Israeli embassy in
Speaking to MEMO, Venezuelan deputy Julio Chavez backed
Maduro's statements on Al-Mayadeen."We confirm Venezuela's steadfast and
unrestricted support for the cause of Palestine and the struggle of the
Palestinian people," he said. "This has been the case since the arrival
of Supreme Leader Hugo Chavez as president 21 years ago." The
parliamentarian added that the right to self-determination is "a
fundamental right of the Palestinian people."
As many as 15,000
Palestinians live in Venezuela, most of them in Valencia and the
capital, Caracas. Despite the challenges they faced with the differences
in language, culture and customs, they have been able to integrate with
Venezuelan society in which they are respected. The community supported
the government and President Maduro during last year's presidential
crisis, condemning the "coup attempt" by the US-backed right-wing in
Venezuela. The Palestinians rejected US interference in the South
American country's internal affairs.
The physical distance
between Palestine and Venezuela may limit the Palestinians' knowledge of
their great supporters in Latin America to what they see on television.
They should rest assured, though, that the solidarity is both strong and
"We salute those who have resisted decades of siege
and oppression with dignity and determination," tweeted President
Nicolas Maduro on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians
in November. "From Venezuela, we reiterate our support for their noble
and just cause."
Eman Abusidu is MEMO's correspondent in Brazil.
President Maduro: 'No one dares to ask us to abandon Palestine'
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