Venezuela-Iran Venture Cranks Out Tractors, Cars & Mosques

The first “Anti-Imperialist Cars” reached Venezuelan roads this month.

Flags of Iran and Venezuela greet you as you enter the VENIRAN tractor plant in Venezuelan provincial capital of Ciudad Bolivar:

(VENIRAN)

The Islamification of Venezuela is moving along quite nicely according to an article published at Fars News today:

Iran, Venezuela Team up for Axis of Unity

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- A billboard of Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looms over a motorway in Venezuela, marking the entrance to a factory designed to produce three things: tractors, influence and angst.

The influence, less visible but real enough, is for Chavez and Ahmadinejad, two presidents who hope this and other ventures will project their prestige and power.

The angst, if all goes to plan, is for Washington. Veniran might be tucked away in the backwater provincial capital of Ciudad Bolivar but it is part of a wider attempt by Chavez to forge a common front against the US.

The socialist president is using Venezuela’s vast oil wealth to strike commercial and political deals with countries that challenge the US such as Iran, Belarus, Russia and China, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, to form an opposition front against what he refers to as the “empire”.

“Chavez is a global player because right now he has a lot of money that he is prepared to spend to advance his huge ambitions,” said Michael Shifter, an analyst with the Inter-American Dialogue think-tank. “He has worked tirelessly to upset US priorities in Latin America.”

Of all Chavez’s alliances the one with Iran is the most striking. Some of the estimated 180 economic and political accords signed with Tehran over recent years are now bearing fruit.

The first “anti-imperialist cars” from a joint venture (Venirauto) reached Venezuela’s roads this month, with the first batch earmarked for army officers.

The Iranian 330 Samand is now made in Venezuela and reached the roads this month.

There is now a weekly flight between Caracas and Tehran, with a stopover in Damascus, operated by the Venezuelan state-controlled airline Conviasa and Iran’s national carrier, Iran Air. New mosques are built across Venezuela and universities are teaching Farsi.

Iran is to help build platforms in a US$4 billion development of Orinoco delta oil deposits in exchange for Venezuelan investments.

The 4,000 tractors produced annually in Ciudad Bolivar are small beer in comparison but they have a symbolic value as agents of revolutionary change. Most are given or leased at a discount in Venezuela to socialist cooperatives that have land, with government blessing.


Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tour the VENIRAN tractor plant in Venezuela during a recent visit by the Iranian hardliner president. (VENIRAN)

This official picture is posted from a ceremony at the tractor plant.

What crappy camera work for an industrial manufacturer website! (VENIRAN)


This is the Saudi-financed Ibrahim bin Abdul-Aziz Ibrahimi mosque in Caracas, one of the largest in South America, is one sign of the increase in ties between Venezuela and Arab nations. As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spouts vehemently anti-Israeli rhetoric and cozies up to Iran�s fundamentalist leader, the country�s Jewish community says anti-Semitism is on the rise. (JTA)

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