Mérida, April 29th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) -- On Monday, Venezuela and the Palestinian Authority established formal diplomatic relations and announced the opening of a Palestinian embassy in Caracas.
Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Nicolás Maduro and his Palestinian colleague Riyad Al-Malki met in Caracas and pledged their countries' mutual solidarity.
"We are taking a step toward justice by establishing official relations with the Palestinian National Authority, with the Palestinian state," Maduro said after signing the official documents before the National Assembly. "The Bolivarian government of the Commander-in-Chief Hugo Chávez feels the Palestinian people's cause as its own."
Al-Malki emphasized the importance of international support for Palestinian independence from Israeli occupation, and expressed his appreciation for Venezuela's severance of diplomatic ties with Israel in January in protest against Israel's deadly assault on Gaza.
"I am here to salute the heroic Venezuelan people for their solidarity with Palestine and the independence and self-determination of our people," said Al-Malki.
Al-Malki referred to President Hugo Chávez as "an international symbol, and a decisive voice of the oppressed in the face of injustice and tyranny," and "a great leader who does not stray from his principles when facing the difficulties of being in struggle for justice."
Al-Malki also spoke of the suffering brought upon the Palestinian people since the creation of Israel, and the difficulties he and his family faced while living under Israeli occupation for almost their entire lives.
"Israel continues to conquer lands, create settlements, murder and arrest our young leaders, destroy our infrastructure, and impede our development by controlling our borders," said Al-Malki.
Both Maduro and Al-Malki mentioned the possibility of future economic investment accords between the two nations.