CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) — A foreign policy adviser to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez equated what he called “international Zionism” with “Nazism.”
Raimundo Kabchi, a professor at the Institute for Higher Diplomatic Studies, which is connected to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, said Israel’s “pretensions” over Palestinian territories constitutes “a new Nazism, international Zionism,” during an interview Wednesday on National Radio of Venezuela.
Kabchi also criticized the U.N. Security Council’s decision to pass new sanctions on Iran for what he called the nation’s “peaceful” and “scientific” use of atomic energy. He noted that the move could affect Venezuela by placing 41 Iranian businesses on a blacklist.
In the past, Chavez has described relations between Venezuela and Iran as brotherly. Chavez reportedly spoke over the phone with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, soon after taking to the national airwaves to "curse" Israel for its maritime raid on an aid flotilla headed for Gaza.
Kabchi is cited frequently in the local government press as a Middle East specialist and often is quoted referring to the “Zionist lobby.”
For example, Morocco’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Venezuela in 2009 following Chavez’s expulsion of the Israeli ambassador was, in Kabshi’s opinion, “a decision meant to serve the interests of the world Zionist lobby.”
Most of Venezuela’s small Jewish community is Sephardic, of Moroccan descent.