Monday, July 9, 2007

Interview with President Chavez in Teheran

By Amir Mahdi Kazemi

In an interview with Iran's Press TV, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez comments on his country's relations with the Islamic Republic

In an interview with Iran's newly launched Press TV, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has commented on a number of issues particularly the South American nation's foreign policy.

The following is the text of the interview with the president:

Reporter: In his comments on website Globovision, the former Venezuelan ambassador to South Korea, Julio Cesar Pineda criticized you for developing relations with Russia, Belarus and Iran. He has urged you to develop relations with the US and EU. What's your opinion about that?

Chavez: What you are referring to is our dealing with imperialism. Close relations with the West was part of Venezuela's foreign policy before the Revolution. In the past, Venezuela didn't have control over its own foreign policy, its policies were dictated by Washington. We were a US colony. Today we are independent and have developed a completely independent policy, total sovereignty. We regard our relations with Russia, Belarus and Iran as fundamental and important.

Reporter: What kind of impact do you think Venezuela's relations with Iran could have on other independent countries?

Chavez: It is an example for other countries. In this year we have signed 164 cooperation agreements in energy, industry, politics, culture, science, education, health, etc. All these agreements are aimed at solidarity, spirituality and cooperation. In that sense, the results that we get from these relations will have a powerful impact on other countries, for example in Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Iranian technology and industries are now being used in Venezuela, Venezuelan technicians are trained in Iran and Iranian experts are training them in Venezuela. We were poor people, mostly illiterate. Now we are progressing. The ties with Iran are by far different from relations we had with the capitalists. Our revolutionary economy is at the service of human beings. Right now, Iran and Bolivia are talking over having the same relations with Bolivia. The same happened in the case of Nicaragua. The relations have had powerful moral, political and economic impacts on other countries. The relations between Iran and Venezuela have its impact on the whole world. That's why imperialists are so concerned about that.

Reporter: Mr. President. I've heard the license of the private TV channel RCTV, which belongs to the Venezuelan opposition, has been canceled by your government. Don't you consider this as a violation of the freedom of speech in your country?

Chavez: The private sector is the West's capitalism. Through the channel, they broadcast the poison that comes from the viewers' eyes to the soul of all human beings and leaves very bad effects on the individuals and the whole population. The alienation, the loss of human values, the individualism, selfishness; everything is against the human nature. The capitalists developed the TV channel in order to distort the nature of the masses. In the West, you see how they portray the Middle East, Arab and Muslim countries as vicious people. The people in the West believe everything they are told. They think of the US and Europe as the criteria for modernization and civilization, the media there portray Iran and the Middle East as the worst terrorists.

We know that the world's most ancient civilizations were started in the region, when no US existed.

If one seeks deep spirituality, he should come to Persia, but some TV channels try to paint a barbarian picture of the people of the region.

The barbarian region is Bush's land. The barbarian imperialism is in the US which never stops intimidating Iran. Today the US is destroying Iraq and dividing Palestine as part of its imperialistic plots. The Iran-Iraq imposed war was also planned and orchestrated in Washington.

The operations against Palestine are also managed by Washington and atrocities against the Palestinian people are rooted in the Washington policies.

The US is also threatening Cuba and Venezuela and so it is apparent that the US is really barbarous.

The North American imperialism has developed a media dictatorship but thanks to the newly lunched Social TV, Venezuela has survived it.

Last night, I was watching the football match between the Venezuelan and Peruvian teams on Social TV but the weather was bad and the signal was not good. At the end, I saw the match on an Iranian TV channel that was broadcasting it.

Reporter: A few days ago, you were speaking about the idea of a global revolution. I'd like you to elaborate on the issue.

Chavez: I have always said that we are in a transition period. Two days ago, I was discussing the fact with a group of congressmen. A new international order is being shaped and the Islamic Revolution and the Venezuelan Revolution are playing key roles in this process.

Iran enjoys a very strategic geopolitical situation and Venezuela is considered as the most important nation in the Latin America. We can say that the two revolutions could contribute to a great dynamic transition.

I believe new players will join the movement for a global revolution which are expected to rise from among the Arab, Latin American, Caribbean, European and even the North American nations.

I think that the movement would save the world from the threat that comes from North American imperialism.

Reporter: And Mr. President, why did you choose to speak in Russia, as you know Russia has its own interactions with the US, especially in the view that both countries are G8 members?

Chavez: I didn't choose Russia. The foreign policy of Venezuela is growing in all directions and we respect international policies of all countries.

Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia has relations with the US, but the US has to respect Russia's friendly relations with Venezuela.

Russia is considered as a world power. Not only President Putin, but also other Russian officials such as the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov talk strongly against the US imperialism. We also had a meeting with Mr. Primakov, now chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries. I also heard his speech against imperialism. This is very positive.

Reporter: Why the US and Europe are trying to stop Iran from developing its peaceful nuclear program and is Venezuela interested in nuclear cooperation with Iran?

Chavez: That is a pretext which the North American imperialism is using in order to put Iran under pressure. We have the right to develop nuclear energy since oil recourses will be consumed soon. Venezuela could work in the future. At this moment, it seems to be early for us. I am honored that this interview is conducted simultaneous with the inauguration of Press TV.

Reporter: Thank you very much your Excellency.