Mérida, January 31st 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – In reaction to the six days, so far, of protests in Egypt against president Hosni Mubarak, who has been president for 29 years, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez criticised U.S “meddling” in the issue, and expressed solidarity with the “Arab world”.
So far, according to medical sources, there have been 92 deaths in Egypt.
“We call for peace and hope the people of Egypt, the Arabic people, search for the way to peace, understanding, progress, and beyond that, the unity of the Arabic world,” Chavez said on Saturday, saying he was worried about the situation in Egypt, especially as one of the aims of “North American imperialism... and its allies, has been to divide the Arabic world”.
“The people are fighters and they have imposed tyrannical and dictatorial governments on them,” he continued. “[The US] is scared of a united Arabic world.”
The Venezuelan government “desires peace and we’ll be with you, Arabic brothers,” he said.
Yesterday, Chavez repeated his statements, emphasising that the “sovereignty of these countries [Egypt and Tunisia] be respected” because “declarations are coming from Washington and from other countries in Europe... it’s shameful... to see the interference of the United States, wanting to take control,” he said.
U.S officials such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have publically urged “an orderly transition to democracy in Egypt to avoid a power vacuum” and have not called on Mubarak to step down. However, the Tehran Times has just reported an anonymous tip that “Two senior Israeli officers and three U.S. generals have arrived in Cairo to take control of the military command in Egypt.”
The Mubarak government is one of the few governments in the Middle East to have very close ties with both the U.S and Israel, making it of strategic importance. The Venezuelan government however has openly criticised Israel’s attacks on Palestine.
“We don’t want to meddle [in Egypt’s business], but we demand that the sovereignty of [Egypt and Tunisia] is respected and we hope to god that they find a peaceful solution, peaceful agreements, within the legal framework of each country,” Chavez said.
He said he was confident that in Egypt they will “know how to find the route to harmony, justice, and wellbeing, using their own methods.”
A press release from Venezuela’s foreign affairs office stated that Chavez had spoken with, “the main political leaders in the middle east...to exchange points of view on the momentous events occurring in the region.”
Finally, on Saturday he said it was important to “be careful” making declarations as there was a lot of “contradictory information” coming out about the situation in Egypt.
On Friday there was a peaceful occupation of the Egyptian embassy in Caracas. Some Egyptian-Venezuelans entered the embassy saying they were going to request some documents, but once inside, they occupied it. The Egyptian ambassador in Caracas requested help from the Venezuelan government.
Chavez said he told the Minister for Interior Affairs, Tareck El Aissami, that they should dialogue with the protestors. “A young [leader of the protestors] spoke with [foreign affairs minister Nicolas] Maduro and said they would leave [the embassy] for Chavez, as respect for Chavez and the Venezuelan people, but they wanted to protest, but it wasn’t necessary to do it like that,” Chavez said.
The protesters told RNV they were in Venezuela because here they could have “complete freedom and work...something that is very difficult to obtain in Egypt”.
Yahya Zakaria, an ex-worker in the embassy, told Telesur that the protest was in solidarity with the people of Egypt as “they are being massacred in the streets of Egypt.”
Following the protest, Maduro also talked to the press, expressing his frustration that the United States “tries to involve itself in everything that goes on in the world. Every day they declare and interfere in internal issues of other countries.”
A survey conducted in May 2009 found that people in Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates put Chavez as the world leader (outside their own country) they most admired.