When asked if his country would welcome Hamas leaders, Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel responded, “What is the problem?” stating with absolute certainty that Hamas officials would be welcome in his country. The statement follows last week’s invitation to Hamas leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin, a move that sparked angry reactions in Israel, the United States and European Union.But do note, when the Russians announced they would talk to Hamas, they stressed he would use the chance to press the group to change its violent ideology. No such talk out of Rangel...which keeps the more important question open: will Chavez give them money?
February 14, 2006
Hamas scored a major diplomatic coup the other day when they got invited to Moscow. Now that Hamas has broken out of the ummah diplomatic ghetto with an invitation to meet with a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the stakes are much lower for Venezuela. J.V. Rangel is savvy enough to understand that: