An important example of resistance to US imperialist pressure and blackmail
On May 24, an Iranian oil tanker sailed into Venezuelan waters, escorted by Venezuelan naval ships. It was carrying 1.5 million barrels of oil for Venezuela’s oil refineries. Four more oil tankers from Iran are scheduled to arrive there soon.
The arrival of the Iranian oil tanker in Venezuela, after sailing a good distance around the globe is a significant step against US imperialism. Both Iran and Venezuela are countries that are specially targeted by the US imperialists for consistently standing up to their dictate and opposing US aggression around the globe. Both have been for many years at the receiving end of crippling sanctions imposed by the US. These have not only caused immense economic hardship to both countries, but have even prevented them from accessing medical equipment and supplies needed to alleviate the misery caused by the coronavirus pandemic at this time.
American sanctions are a major reason why Venezuela, with the largest known oil reserves in the world, needs to import oil from Iran. The sanctions have prevented Venezuela, which relies heavily on its oil revenues, from accessing equipment and supplies needed to repair its oil refineries and to keep them running. Other countries have been prevented, on the threat of punitive measures by the US, from buying or selling oil or having other commercial relations with both Iran and Venezuela.
It is well known that Iranian ships are specially harassed by the US navy, even in Iran’s home region of the Persian Gulf. That is why the decision taken by Iran to send five tankers laden with oil through the Suez canal and the Mediterranean Sea and across the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to Venezuela is an act of great courage and anti-imperialist solidarity. This is even more so because the Caribbean and Latin America has been considered by the US as its own ‘backyard’, where it has the licence to do what it wants, ever since it first promulgated its “Monroe Doctrine” back in 1823.
As the largest military power in the world, the US acts like the policeman of the world, bullying other countries into following its orders and blatantly violating their sovereignty. It counts on its huge military arsenal to make all other countries, small and big, fall into line. This is why this one example of cooperation between Iran and Venezuela in defiance of American sanctions and pressure, is a slap in the face of US imperialism that deserves to be applauded by all those who value the independence and sovereignty of countries and peoples in today’s world.