This is from the League for the Fifth International.
Chávez sides with the clerical dictatorship against Iran’s youth, workers and women
On 21 JUNE, on his regular Aló Presidente TV show, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez indicated where he stood on the struggle unfolding in Iran: with the forces murdering and repressing the students and workers, with the clerical dictatorship that stifles and oppresses women and national minorities.
He stated: "We send a greeting to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's great president, to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and to the Iranian people. We ask the world to respect Iran because they (sic) are trying to undermine the Iranian revolution's strength."
He continued: "Ahmadinejad's triumph is a victory in full order. They're trying to stain Ahmadinejad's victory, and by doing so they aim to weaken the government and the Islamic revolution. I know they won't be able to do it."
It is true that over the past three years Venezuela has done million dollar deals with Iran’s government but it is not in any sense dependent on them for its economic survival. At the same time, Chávez claims to be the leader and ideologist of what he calls “the socialism of the twenty first century.” Many people around the world, encouraged by Venezuela’s combination of significant socials reforms and defiance of the USA, take all this as good coin. But if Chávez were really a “democrat,” a “socialist” and a champion of the working class, he ought to solidarise with young people, workers and socialists fighting in Iran for freedom against the theocratic dictatorship.
His statements show that, in reality, he does not take international working class solidarity as his starting point but rather an alliance between capitalist states that find themselves obliged to resist the exploitation and bullying of US (and European) imperialism.
Revolutionary socialists should certainly support Iran (and Venezuela) unconditionally against economic blockades, threats and any military attacks coming from the United Sates and its Zionist puppet. But this does not in any way oblige us to support a dictatorship against its own working class. The “Iranian Revolution” that Chávez refers to was strangled between 1979-82 by the very people who now rule Iran.
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