Sunday, November 29, 2009

Abbas and Chavez, BFF

In recent weeks, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has threatened war with Columbia, promised to personally fly on planes to "zap" clouds to make them rain, urged citizens to stop singing in the shower, said complimentary things about Idi Amin, Carlos the Jackal and Robert Mugabe, and had a warm reception with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad where he labeled Israel "a murderous arm of the Yankee empire."

In that context, his latest guest makes perfect sense:
President Mahmoud Abbas concluded his tour of Latin America in Venezuela on Friday, where he and President Hugo Chavez signed agreements to promote bilateral relations between Caracas and the Palestinians.

In a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people, Chavez offered Abbas an olive branch and a gold-plated reproduction of a sword belonging to Simon Bolivar, the 19th Century South American political leader who played a key role in the region’s independence from Spain.

Presenting Abbas with these gifts, the Venezuelan president proclaimed, "Venezuela is Palestine; Palestine is Venezuela, we have a common struggle."

"We [Venezuelans] should devote the entire force of our hearts and souls towards the creation of a Palestinian state," he said.
Both leaders have a lot in common - the willingness to sacrifice the well-being of their people for their own egos and misplaced priorities.