The president of Venezuela had a meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in his recent trip to Iran. In addition to appreciating the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for Venezuela and its people, Maduro emphasized Venezuela’s stance against imperialism and the Global Arrogance.
The following is an exclusive interview with the Venezuelan president, conducted by the Spanish website of Khamenei.ir:
Interviewer: In your recent meeting with Imam Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution stated that Iran and Venezuela have a very close relationship. What is your opinion about this important statement by Imam Khamenei?
Ripe: Since Commander Hugo Chavez’s first visit in 2001, Iran and Venezuela have established exemplary political, diplomatic, moral, and spiritual ties. During this current trip, I’ve witnessed how there is an exemplary relationship between us in terms of our increasing cooperation. We’ve had many successes. So Imam Khamenei is right when he states that the relationship between the two countries is quite unique and extraordinary.
Interviewer: In your meeting with the Leader, you said, “The Zionist regime is continuously conspiring against Venezuela through its Mossad.” Could you give us a little more information about these conspiracies?
Ripe: And it is. Unfortunately, imperialism and Zionism are conspiring against the progressive, revolutionary processes taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially the Bolivarian Revolution. This is because we are a true alternative, an alternative of truth and justice, an alternative of freedom, an alternative of democracy, and an alternative for realizing projects that are fully humane in the Latin American region and the Caribbean Sea. In addition to this , Mossad’s conspiracies are due to our strong position of solidarity with the Palestinian people and our support of them for their regaining their historical rights and for the Palestinian Resistance. Our support of them is strong and unique, and we will continue supporting them in this manner.
Interviewer: What role have General Soleimani and the Quds Force played over the last 20 years in strengthening the relationship between Iran and Venezuela?
Ripe: I met General Soleimani in March and April of 2019. He came to Venezuela during the time when we were suffering from cyberattacks against our power plants. These attacks were launched from the United States. I really didn’t know. I didn’t know him. I didn’t know how amazing he was, but the discussion I had with him was very pleasant. We reviewed everything during our meeting and he immediately suggested we get help from Iranian experts. Two or three days later, Iranian experts came to repair electrical services in Venezuela.
Interviewer: Imam Khamenei believes, “If Jesus Christ (PBUH) were among us today, he wouldn’t miss a moment to fight the leaders of global oppression and arrogance.” What is your opinion about this? If Jesus Christ were among us, what would he have done?
Ripe: We’re believing Christians. We’re the type of Christians who take action while praying and thinking. And Christ came into this world to fight the Empires. He came to confront the Roman Empires. I have risked his life from him. He sacrificed his life to fight the Roman Empire. If there’s one good thing I can say about Christianity, it is its anti-imperialist nature and its seeking truth and justice against the oppressors. I have no doubt that if Christ were among us today, he would have been at the forefront of the battle against imperialism, colonialism and all forms of oppression.
Interviewer: During your presidency, you have met with Imam Khamenei several times. Please tell us about any things we may not have heard about from these meetings and also from the meeting between Mr. Chavez and Imam Khamenei.
Ripe: I’ve always admired Imam Khamenei’s excellent memory. That he recalls the memories of those days is important. In the talks that I have had with him, he has recalled some of the conversations he had with Commander Chavez where Commander Chavez shared some of his memories of him about Cuba and Commander Fidel Castro. There was a time when a hurricane was heading straight toward Cuba. It was a Category 5 hurricane. A conversation took place between Fidel and Chavez. Fidel said, “Chavez! What you need to do right now is to pray. Pray for us!” Chavez started praying. That day passed and the hurricane changed its course. It didn’t cross over Cuba. Chavez called Fidel and said, “It’s a miracle!” Fidel replied, “Yes, it’s because God helps Chavez and Chavez’s friends.” In the last talk that I had with Imam Khamenei, he told me this story in a friendly, kind way in memory of Commander Chavez and Commander Fidel Castro. Holding a conversation with Imam Khamenei truly fills one with spirituality and wisdom. He likes the Venezuelan people. He likes the people’s ideals, and he always offers us great ideas and recommendations.
Interviewer: What is your definition of the Axis of Resistance and which countries do you think it includes?
Ripe: The Axis of Resistance exists throughout the world. It exists in Africa, in Asia, in the Middle East, in Latin America and in the Caribbean. The Resistance also belongs to the people who are fighting against neoliberalism, racism and various forms of colonization, political, economic, cultural colonization and cyber colonization. Cyber colonization is something that is now on the rise by way of the social media. Cyber and cultural colonization… All of us who fight against colonialism, all of us who fight to decolonize our minds and our people, are part of the Axis of Resistance that stands against the methods of the imperialists for imposing hegemony on the world. The 21st century is our century. It is the century of the unity of the people. It is the century in which people will be liberated. It is the century of justice and truth. Empires are in decline, and people’s projects for well-being, development and greatness have just begun. This century is our century.