Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a “symbol of resistance” who raises Latin American nations’ spirit in their fight against imperialism.
“I can say that you are a hero and a symbol of resistance in the fight against imperialism,” IRNA quoted Chavez as saying in a ceremony held to welcome the Iranian President.
Ahmadinejad arrived in Caracas on Wednesday on the fourth leg of his official visit to Latin American and African countries, which also took him to Gambia, Brazil and Bolivia.
“Today you have arrived in a free country which was under US domination up to years ago just like Iran,” the Venezuelan President told Ahmadinejad.
Chavez condemned remarks made by Israeli President Shimon Peres during his recent Latin American tour who had said that Ahmadinejad and Chavez would disappear soon.
“We know what the state of Israel stands for — a murderous arm of the Yankee empire,” Reuters quoted Chavez as saying in a joint news conference.
“What the President of Israel said, we take as a threat,” he added.
“It is imperialism and arrogance that will disappear,” Chavez stated.
Chavez broke relations with Israel earlier this year to protest against the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.