During an official visit to Iran on Friday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro offered an interview to HispanTV, an alternative media outlet in the Persian nation that broadcasts in Spanish. Below are the highlights of his interview.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Visits Iran
A RELATIONSHIP BASED ON SOLIDARITY
When asked about the reasons for his visit to the Persian nation, Maduro recalled that Venezuela and Iran have maintained diplomatic relations since the 1950s. However, the process of rapprochement between these countries began to accelerate and strengthen from 2001 under the impulse of Commander Hugo Chavez's presidency.
"The relationship between Venezuela and Iran is a model to follow because it expresses true solidarity, friendship, and mutual support in difficult times," he said, alluding to the U.S. economic bullying against both peoples.
"Love and solidarity have no distance," Maduro stated, recalling that "just as the revolutionaries in this region of the world admire Simon Bolivar, so do the young revolutionaries of the 1970s admire what the 1979 Iranian revolution means."
At the present time, Venezuela and Iran "have recognized each other as partners in the struggle for a better world, for a world of peace, for a world without hegemonic domination. Sharing great causes has allowed us to advance so much."
CHALLENGING THE U.S. BLOCKADE
One of the clearest expressions of this brotherly relationship occurred in the first quarter of 2020 when Iran sent fuel to Venezuela, a country that was facing the pandemic amid sanctions that prevented it from buying goods and supplies to refine crude oil.
"The arrival of the Iranian oil tanker was an extraordinary event and much celebrated by the Venezuelans," Maduro said. "No company dared to come to our country for fear of U.S. persecution."
"In these circumstances we spoke with the Iranian government and we made a short-term plan to deal with the energy emergency and another more strategic plan to be able to carry out production in the refinery of the Venezuelan company PDVSA," the Bolivarian leader revealed.
"The Iranian captains had the courage to navigate despite all the irrationality of the Empire. They showed that brothers are ready to help each other when necessary."
TWO NATIONS AT THE FOREFRONT OF CHANGE
Regarding the current international scenario, President Maduro pointed out that humanity is experiencing a time of transition in which the processes of social, economic, political, and cultural change are accelerating.
"This time will define the entire 21st century. As revolutionary leaders we must be very aware of the signs of change. A new geopolitics has already emerged due to the decline of the cycle of U.S. domination over the rest of humanity," he pointed out.
"Iran and Venezuela are at the forefront of the emergence of the new geopolitics. And as is often the case, whoever is at the forefront gets hit the hardest. Nevertheless, we are turning on the lights and shaping that new world."
PALESTINE HURTS US ALL
During the consolidation of a multipolar international order, comprehensive cooperation is an instrument to demonstrate to other peoples that "another world is possible." In this sense, the Bolivarian leader recalled that "the Palestinian cause is humankind's most sacred cause."
In the occupied Palestinian territories "is the cradle of the three most important monotheistic religions of mankind... All the historical prophets passed through there... And that should be enough to admire Palestine," Maduro said, recalling that many cultures coexisted in peace there for centuries until the Zionist state was imposed.
"Palestine hurts all of us. Every day, the Israeli occupation forces imprison, torture, and kill Palestinian women and men. And what does the so-called 'international community' say?" he emphasized. "Palestine is a pain that will turn into hope sooner rather than later."
The Bolivarian nation supports the Palestinian cause "by denouncing these crimes, displayin the Palestinian voice before the United Nations Security Council, and accompanying the Palestinian people in the reunification of their struggles and organizations."
SOME KEYS TO THE RESISTANCE OF PEOPLES
When asked about how Venezuela has managed to overcome the U.S. economic harassment, President Maduro pointed out that a key element is keeping the people well-informed about what is happening.
Over the last four years, the blockade generated an economic catastrophe that at a given moment was expressed through an output drop from US$54 billion to US$1 billion. But that did not prevent the Bolivarian government from finding answers that would guarantee the provision of food, health, education and housing.
Maduro then stressed that his country undertook the design of a policy strategy to get out of a "war economy" and begin to promote economic recovery and long-term development. "In the last two years, we have managed to consolidate the growth of the real economy... this is a first stage of recovery that generates optimism about our country's future."
THE FAILURE OF THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
The Venezuelan president explained that the so-called "Summit of the Americas" deserves to be analyzed in various dimensions. One of them is the protest of some Latin American presidents against President Joe Biden's exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
"Their rejection was very powerful because it reduced the meeting in Los Angeles to a single aspect: the discussion about the exclusion of three countries full of history and dignity."
On behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), for example, Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez rejected the U.S. discrimination against Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela in front of President Biden himself.
Maduro also highlight the speech of Belizean Prime Minister John Briseño, the president of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), who highlighted the humanitarian nature of Cuba and Venezuela.
"The Los Angeles meeting has no decision-making agenda, which is why it has become a bland meeting lacking in priorities," the Bolivarian president explained.
"The United States excluded itself from the general feeling of union. If something was present in that meeting, it was Simon Bolivar's integrationist thought."
Finally, Maduro highlighted the People's Summit, where over 3,000 social organizations from Latin America and the U.S. debated substantive issues and sought ways to be present despite being prohibited from mobilizing in the street.
"From Venezuela, we feel proud and identified with the brilliance and courage of the leaders of the true summit in Los Angeles, the People's Summit."
LONG-TERM COOPERATION WITH IRAN
The Venezuelan president praised Iran's ability to produce 100 percent of the food it consumes despite the fact that this country has been harassed by the United States for 40 years and has 70 percent of its territory in unfavorable conditions for agriculture. .
"We have a lot to learn from Iran," Maduro said, adding that "Venezuela welcomes investments to establish supermarket chains that import Iranian goods."
Both countries have trade complementarities that can mutually benefit their citizens. For example, "Venezuela has the coffee Iran needs. We are going to have working groups to articulate those trade flows."
Ministers of both nations are currently building "a cooperation map" and establishing plans and strategies for the next 20 years. In this way, real links of integration are built so that "Iran and Venezuela be indestructible," Maduro stated.