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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a string of visits to Latin American countries, is stressing a theme of opposition to American “imperialism” while strengthening ties with sympathetic leaders in the region.
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s first stop was in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 13, his second visit to the country in the past four months. He discussed a multi-billion dollar joint investment plan with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who stated that the venture could also benefit other “countries whose governments are making efforts to liberate themselves from the imperialist yoke” (AP).
The next visit was to Managua, Nicaragua, which included a tour of some of the poorest parts of the city with Nicaragua’s new president, Daniel Ortega. Mr. Ahmadinejad described the two nations as having national interests and common enemies. Addressing a crowd in a dilapidated neighborhood, the Iranian president implied that the United States opposes economic progress there, and stated that Iran, Nicaragua and Venezuela stand together among a united group of “revolutionary countries.”
The following day, Mr. Ahmadinejad attended the swearing in ceremony of Ecuador’s new leader, Rafael Correa. Mr. Correa, a graduate of the University of Illinois, follows a series of presidents who were expelled from office in the wake of popular protests demanding their removal. In his first speech as president, he blamed Ecuador’s profound economic problems on two decades of American economic policy, drawing applause from Messrs. Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Ortega, as well as other South American leaders in attendance.
The bonds between Iran and these nations lie in two main areas: economic interests and anti-American sentiment. Why the growing hostility toward the United States and its allies?
To learn the reason, read “Why They Hate Us – Part 1: God’s Hand Removed”.