Caracas latches on to its last Middle-East allies
In a letter sent by Muammar Gaddafi to Hugo Chávez, the Libyan leader urged his "revolutionary brother" to take a stand to end the "imperial threat" aimed at ousting Gaddafi from power. That letter was sent in August 2011.
Nearly one year later, Gaddafi is dead, murdered by rebels. His dictatorship crumbled, and the cornerstone for social inspiration that Chávez saw in Libya no longer exists; therefore, Syria and Libya are the last two allies that Venezuela's government trusts in its anti-imperial and anti-Zionist fight.
Yet, Bashar al-Assad's Syria, one endlessly praised by the Venezuelan head of state, suffers from a bloody rebellion that according to the UN has a death toll of 10,000 while al Assad's image has lost legitimacy, making it hard to envision his permanence in power for much longer.
With Iran, however, Caracas can barely maintain economic ties as a result of international sanctions upon Tehran stemming from its nuclear program. The nation seems isolated from the international community, and its support is limited to ideological anti-US sentiment.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."