Photo: Samidoun Europe coordinator Mohammed Khatib with Wilhen Nehomar Diaz Lara, Charge d’affaires at the embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the Netherlands. Photo: Samidoun Netherlands

Samidoun Netherlands visited the Venezuelan embassy in the Netherlands on Tuesday, 14 January, with Mohammed Khatib, European coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. The activists met with Wilhen Nehomar Diaz Lara, Charge d’affaires at the embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, where they shared information about the current situation in Palestine as well as the imperialist attacks confronting Venezuela.

The Samidoun organizers spoke about the cases of Palestinian political prisoners, including the weeks of action to free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners. They also discussed the escalating use of torture in Israeli interrogation centers, including the prominent cases of prisoners such as Samer Arbeed, Mays Abu Ghosh and Walid Hanatsheh, who were subjected to severe physical torture in an attempt to force coerced confessions.

Khatib focused on the situation of Palestinians and solidarity organizers in Europe, including the difficult circumstances of Palestinian refugees who increasingly face threats of deportation and other repressive mechanisms, as well as the attempts by European governments to criminalize or suppress the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign and growing solidarity with Palestinians. He also spoke about the failure of the Palestinian Authority and its embassies to truly represent the interests of the Palestinian people, especially Palestinian refugees both in Europe and in the camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

The Samidoun organizers noted their strong solidarity with the Venezuelan people in their struggle confronting imperialism, denouncing the role of the United States and the European Union in attempting to impose a right-wing coup, confiscate Venezuelan resources and undermine the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination. They emphasized the strong support for Venezuela in the Palestinian community, especially as the Bolivarian Republic has consistently taken a strong stand internationally in defense of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Diaz Lara spoke about the current situation in Venezuela, particularly the devastating sanctions (unlawful unilateral coercive measures) directed against the Bolivarian Republic as well as the attempt to foment a right-wing coup. He spoke about the involvement of European banks in confiscating the resources of the Venezuelan people in service of the coup, and the effects on Venezuelans’ access to medicine and other basic needs. He also spoke about the coup in Bolivia and the troubling human rights crisis in Colombia, especially the escalating number of assassinations targeting social movement leaders.

He emphasized that despite the attacks against the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela remains committed to its internationalist vision.

Diaz Lara expressed his solidarity and that of the Bolivarian Republic and the Venezuelan people with Palestine, saying that “Palestinians are always welcome and Palestine is always our priority.” Samidoun Netherlands planned to join in the meetings of the solidarity campaign for Venezuela and expressed its commitment to work together in the future to build joint struggle against imperialism and for liberation, from Venezuela to Palestine.