[Marxism] ‎"Is Ahmadinejad really ‘anti-imperialist’?"

Sun Eagle suneagle79 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 5 09:50:38 MST 2012

The author of this piece, whom I deeply respect for both his courage and convictions, needs to recognize some elementary facts about the relationship between Iran and the Latin American left:
   If the Cuban Communist Party warmly welcomed Ahmadinejad during his stay in Havana, the obverse was also true. The opposition in Iran has no warmer friend in Congress than Cuban-American Congresswoman Ileana Ross-Lehtin, or as Fidel calls her "La Loba." She's lobbied for years for the U.S. to increase financial, and other, more sinister, kinds of support, for the overthrow of the Iranian regime. Is she an opportunist? Is she a hypocrite? Nope, she's being perfectly consistent, viewing the current regime in Iran as an enemy to the United States and friendly towards Cuba. She dubbed the Iranian president's recent visit to Raul and Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Rafael Correa "the tyrants tour", while her mouthpiece in the MIAMI HERALD, Andre Opponheimer, slimed Ahmadinejad as "Iran's fascist dicator." The Cuban leadership has never had a problem distinguishing between its allies and enemies. Fidel supported, financially and
 militarily, the ANC in South Africa while the Miami Mafia lined up behind Pretoria. This is not to say that the left should support Ahmadinejad because Fidel and Raul and Chavez do so (the knee-jerk reaction you find in groups such as WWP, PSL, etc.) but that at the moment defending Iran's sovereigny is as important as defending Cuba and Venezuela.
2. Is Ahmadinejad really "anti-imperialist"? Of course not; bourgeois nationalists seldom are, not even in Latin America with the likes of Arbenz of Guatemala, the Peruvian generals who came to power in 1968, et al. But, in a particular international conjuncture, in a world still dominated by imperialism, they can play an anti-imperialist role. Supporting Ethiopia against Italy or China against Japan in the 1930s did not entail an endorsement of Haile Selassie or Jiang and their horrific policies but only that the greater enemy had to be confronted first. Read the U.S. State Department's perennial denunciations of Iran, Cuba and Venezuela and you'll find that the language is practically the same, since all three are objects for "regime change."
3. The Cuban government, and the Party paper GRANMA, remained silent on the opposition protests going on in Iran during 2009. Chavez sent warm greeting to his "brother" Ahmadinejad. Why? It wasn't just the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" syndrome, but that Raul Castro and Chavez saw nothing "anti-imperialist" about that opposition; no call for an end to the U.S. embargo on Iran; no demand that the U.S. exit the Middle East, no solidarity with the Palestinian people, etc. The author himself admits the Iranian left was "not heard" during these demonstrations. That may be because many leftists outside of Iran, and not just Latin America,  got the impression that the demonstrators wanted to exchange one capitalist regime for another; one that would not be so friendly towards Cuba and the Pink Tide in South America.


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