This is the kind of event that typically gives rise to erroneous interpretations, such as ‘Venezuela and Iran are both oil-producing countries. It was a business occasion.’ Or, ‘It was a chance for the Iranian leader to be seen on world television.’
The reality is that both Chavez and Ahmedinejad are on the side of the 99%.
What?! We know Chavez was a socialist, but the president of a country that is run by clerics? Well, yes: the Iranian revolution of 1978 was not about religion, it was about inequality, and its first leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, represented Shi’ism’s traditional defense of the downtrodden. (By the way, Jesus has been referred to as the first revolutionary...)
What is even stranger is that if you read Vladimir Putin’s statement on the death of the thrice elected Venezuelan president you would never guess that Russia is no longer a socialist country: "He was an extraordinary and powerful man who looked to the future and always set the highest bar for himself." Putin called for even stronger ties and praised the late president as “a close friend of Russia.”
Indeed, Russia’a UN Ambassador Anatoly Churkin, told reporters in New York that Chavez was "a great politician for his country, Latin America and the world.” According to the Moscow Times, the Russian-Venezuelan partnership has developed strong political ties and led to large-scale humanitarian and development projects. If you think this means that Russia and its allies are outliers with respect to the world community, take note of the statement by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
"President Chavez spoke to the challenges and aspirations of the most vulnerable Venezuelans. He provided decisive impetus for new regional integration movements, based on an eminently Latin American vision, while showing solidarity toward other nations in the hemisphere. His contribution to the current peace talks in Colombia between the Government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has been of vital importance.
"The secretary-general renews the commitment of the United Nations to work alongside the Government and the people of Venezuela in support of its development and prosperity."
Now here’s President Obama’s statement: "At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez's passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government. As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights."
The American president starts by insinuating that there could be trouble in Venezuela, just days after two American diplomats were expelled from the country amid accusations by the Vice-President and heir designate that the U.S. induced Chavez’ cancer (for example using polonium, an element that killed a Russian in London a few years ago).
Second, the President appears unaware of the depth of popular support enjoyed by Chavez, trying to drive a wedge between the Venezuelan people and the government that will succeed him.
Third, Obama shows himself to be concerned only with the ritual ‘democratic principles’ (never mind if they remain just principles), the rule of law (that can be bent to allow government assassination of citizens), and human rights (ditto).
Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War which was all about competition for arms and allies, America’s former enemies, Russia and China, have moved on. The other BRICS nations, Brazil, India and South Africa, also put cooperation above competition, having realized their combined strengths as well as the advantages of responding to the needs of the Third World. Only the United States refuses to acknowledge what the ‘failed system’ of socialism handed down to those free to understand it.