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Venezuela strengthens diplomatic ties with Palestine

Anadolu Agency has reported that Venezuela’s diplomatic representation in Palestine will be elevated to full embassy status. The news was revealed in the wake of a visit to Venezuela by PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, which resulted in the signing of 18 cooperation agreements related to trade, energy, agriculture, health, education, defence and security, according to TeleSUR.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez stated: “Following instructions from President Nicolas Maduro, we will raise our representation in the heroic Palestinian states to embassy level.”

During a first meeting which brought together Palestinian ambassadors in South America and which was attended by Al-Maliki, Rodriguez declared: “The people of Bolivar and Chavez are ready to accompany the Palestinian people in their struggle for independence and reclamation of territory, which has been violently stripped away by Israel.”

Al-Maliki embarked upon the usual contradictions. “Palestine has faced a difficult reality and has opted for peaceful solutions. Relations with Venezuela have strengthened and improved over the years, thanks to Hugo Chavez and President Nicolas Maduro, who has continued that legacy.”

Following Operation Cast lead, of which the late Hugo Chavez was a vociferous critic, Venezuela remained consistent in its support of the Palestinian struggle against colonial and imperialist violence – a stance now emulated by Maduro. In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, Venezuela immediately embarked upon internationalist support and humanitarian aid through the provision of emergency supplies, scholarships in tertiary education as well as treatment and shelter for orphaned and injured Palestinian children.

In comments to TeleSUR, Al-Maliki once again exhibited his penchant for adhering to imperialist dictates with regard to Palestine, while criticising the US for its aggression against Venezuela. “I think it is time that Obama reviewed his decision and tried to retract from a decision that is harming his country more than it is harming Venezuela.”

When speaking about Palestine, Al-Maliki provided the epitome of contradictions when stating: “We don’t put much hope or expectation upon the security council. We, after so many years, believe that our best weapon is to defend ourselves and seek political and diplomatic dimensions.”

However, during a recent visit to Malta, Al-Maliki stated that yet another draft resolution is due to be presented to the UN Security Council, with the text stipulating the two-state compromise and an end to the “occupation”, as opposed to seeking the termination of Israeli colonisation.

It is pertinent to point out that both Venezuela and Palestine are facing US-backed violence, yet Al-Maliki has preferred to embark upon selective mentioning and dissociation. Recent US interference and overtures have been made towards countries that have historically, or in more recent years as in the case of Venezuela, provided staunch support for Palestine’s anti-colonial struggle. While both Iran and Cuba have entered into diplomatic negotiations with the US – a move that may provide the US with avenues through which to instigate destabilisation, both Venezuela and Palestine have been violently targeted – one of the aims being to isolate both countries from the international arena. Al-Maliki would have imparted a lot more of cohesion with reality, had the similarities between both countries been discussed. However, the PA’s consistency is clearly exclusive – a realm reserved to consolidate its duplicitous role as both representative, and oppressor of the Palestinian people.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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