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Statue of Arafat erected in Venezuela by Palestinian embassy, ambassador expresses support for regime

Headline: “Erecting a statue of [former PA] President Martyr Yasser Arafat in Liberator Simon Bolivar Monument Square in Venezuela”

The Embassy of the State of Palestine in Venezuela marked the 71st anniversary of the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) by erecting a statue of [former PLO Chairman and PA] President Martyr Yasser Arafat in Liberator Simon Bolivar Monument Square

Ambassador Linda Sobeh gave a speech in which she thanked Venezuela for its support, which is represented by its President Nicolás Maduro, and again emphasized Palestine’s support for Venezuela in light of the situation that it is going through (refers to violent clashes between regime and opposition forces following Maduro’s fraudulent election; see note below –Ed.).

She added that we, as a people that has been suffering from the occupation’s blows for 71 years, cannot agree to external interference in Venezuela or that there be a new Nakba there. In addition, Sobeh gave a lecture at the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters… and emphasized the importance of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, and that we will not renounce this right regardless of how much time passes.”

Yasser Arafat – Founder of Fatah and former chairman of the PLO and PA. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Arafat was behind numerous terror attacks against Israelis. Although he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" after signing the Oslo Accords peace agreement, Arafat launched a 5-year terror campaign - the second Intifada (2000-2005) – in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Arafat died of an illness in 2004.

Venezuelan crisis 2018-2019 - Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro won a second term in the Venezuelan presidential election in May 2018; however, the election was determined to be fraudulent and Venezuela has been considered to be without a president by most of the international community since Jan. 10, 2019, when Nicolás Maduro’s legitimate term ended. Maduro nevertheless has continued as president, supported by countries like Russia, China, Mexico, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. The US, Canada, the EU, and others have condemned this and encouraged support for Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate president. Guaidó proclaimed himself “acting president” on Jan. 23, 2019, but Maduro has refused to step down. The countries supporting Guaidó have been accused by Russia and others of fomenting a coup. Dozens have been killed in protests against Maduro and his government, and the people are suffering under food and medicine shortages.