The decline of internationalism, with the exception of few countries whose experience of revolutionary process has altered political vision, has rendered the same countries isolated from the rest of the world governed by acquiescence or adherence to imperialist dictates. The crimes committed against Palestinians during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge were combated from a humanitarian, political and internationalist perspective by Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro, in concordance with the late Hugo Chavez’s legacy, upheld existing agreements with regard to trade and education. The provision of humanitarian assistance to Gaza during and after the colonial massacre also indicated a practical approach that was implemented by Fidel Castro during the early years of the Cuban Revolution – that of providing education in specialised areas according to the country’s needs to safeguard autonomy.
U.S. intervention in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez’s presidency have recently stood in contrast to the overtures in Cuba’s regard, with whom Barack Obama is planning the normalisation of diplomatic relations following the prisoner swap which saw USAID subcontractor Alan Gross and an unidentified US spy released in exchange for the remaining three of the Cuban Five. Within the same timeframe, the US also passed the “Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act”, which imposes sanctions upon government leaders allegedly involved in human rights abuses committed against the opposition, thus eliminating the opposition’s accountability for destruction, sabotage and violence in the country. The imperialist-supported and financed turmoil in the country, however, did not deter Venezuela from its internationalist stance in Palestine’s regard.
Geopolitical discord, stemming from the decline in oil prices, seems to constitute another effort in undermining Venezuela. Both Iran and Venezuela – two countries which offered support to Palestine during Operation Protective Edge, have requested that OPEC cuts oil production in an attempt to stabilise the oil market – described by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as “a political act. Our enemies use petrol as a political lever and have certainly a role to play in the lowering of prices.” Last December, Algeria had also insisted upon OPEC cutting down production to stabilise oil prices.
The Venezuelan government’s statement indicated progress following talks. “We agreed to work to recover the market and oil prices with state policies between the two energy power houses.” However, other reports have been less assertive – one reason being a reluctance to curb production in order to allegedly stem output from the US and Canada.
However, despite Arab states financially supporting Palestinians, the parameters within which this support is given are restricted due to the countries’ alignment with imperialism. The regional context of Israeli colonisation and US imperialism creates collaboration within the region that is detrimental to unity, freedom, and in the case of Palestine, weakens the anti-colonial struggle for liberation. Venezuela, on the other hand, has been targeted by US imperialism since Chavez’s rule – one of the NSA’s goals being “preventing Venezuela from achieving its regional leadership objectives and pursuing policies that negatively impact US global interests.” It seems as if, within a wider context, both Venezuela and Palestine are destined to remain targets for imperialist forces within different regions.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.