[News] Venezuela hosts 1st Latin American Congress on Palestinian Right of Return

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 22 14:50:37 EDT 2015

  Venezuela hosts 1st Latin American Congress on Palestinian Right of

    Ramona Wadi 
    Wednesday, 22 April 2015 10:29 


Last Friday, Venezuela hosted the first Latin American Congress of the 
Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. The initiative brought together 
Palestinian solidarity activists from various countries across Latin 
America, including Chile, Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina. According to 
Palestinian ambassador Linda Sobeh Ali, the event strengthened 
Venezuela's stance as the focal point for the Palestinian cause in the 

"This is an international struggle against a common enemy," said Nicola 
Hadwa Shahwan of the Chilean Committee in Solidarity with Palestine. 
"The same enemy that besieges Venezuela, that wants to seize the wealth 
of Venezuela, is the same that wants to seize the wealth of the Middle 
East and the rest of the world."

Isak Khury from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine 
stressed the need for a broad approach. "We must combine all forms of 
struggle: diplomatic, legal and political together with armed 
resistance," he insisted.

Venezuelan support for Palestine is a legacy of the late President Hugo 
Chavez, whose anti-imperialist stance emulated that of Fidel Castro and 
the Cuban Revolution and ultimately emerged as a fulcrum for 
internationalism against colonial and imperialist dominance. Venezuela's 
current President, Nicolas Maduro, consolidated the foundations 
initiated by Chavez and exhibited a commitment to a holistic approach, 
in particular with regard to Gaza's reconstruction.

While the UN conspired with Israel to develop a mechanism mired in 
bureaucracy, Venezuela embarked upon a humanitarian and political 
approach that combined immediate relief for children maimed or orphaned 
during the war, as well as providing Palestinian youth with the 
opportunity to further their studies in Venezuela, notably in the field 
of medicine. The tertiary education programme offered by Venezuela is 
also set to expand and include other academic specialisms, including 
architecture and teaching, thus providing Palestinians with 
opportunities for self-reliance and dignity, as opposed to the UN's 
deliberate conspiracy of entrenching and normalising displacement, in 
blatant violation of international law.

A lot of discussion about the Palestinian right of return is based upon 
international law, yet scant attention is given to the fact that the 
narrative enshrined within legislation eliminates Palestinian memory and 
embarks upon an isolation process that seeks to detach the Palestinian 
struggle from internationalism. As diplomacy overshadowed resistance, 
the Palestinian right of return retained its priority as an 
embellishment rather than as a right; it was often reduced to a 
statement quoted at random for convenience and public displays of 
support, but was nothing of substance. Its implications were smothered 
by prevailing talk about compromising with Israel's colonial project in 
the form of the two-state paradigm, thus rendering the Palestinian right 
of return into a memory severed by international oppression and complicity.

The conference in Venezuela could well serve to highlight such 
discrepancies, not only from an academic viewpoint — which has caused 
displeasure among Israelis — but also from the perspective of a country 
that has not wavered in its support for Palestine while battling 
imperialist intervention within its own territory. While Venezuela's 
support for Palestine is exemplary, however, Maduro can also avail 
himself of the opportunity to declare himself in favour of the 
anti-colonial struggle and total liberation by abandoning rhetoric 
pertaining to the two-state compromise. The latter stance, although 
overlooked, remains a blemish upon a country that has otherwise proved 
itself to be consistent in its internationalist role.

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