Arab Street “ready to die for” Hugo Chavez
Forget Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, the most popular leader on the Arab Street is Hugo Chavez. That’s according to Al Jazeera‘s Dima Khatib, who has penned a disturbing article on the cult of Chavez emerging in the Arab world. Khatib reports that Chavez’s decision to withdraw his charge d’affairs from Tel Aviv has helped him create a following so ...
Forget Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, the most popular leader on the Arab Street is Hugo Chavez. That's according to Al Jazeera's Dima Khatib, who has penned a disturbing article on the cult of Chavez emerging in the Arab world. Khatib reports that Chavez's decision to withdraw his charge d'affairs from Tel Aviv has helped him create a following so dedicated that "many [Arabs] declare they are 'ready to die for' Chavez."
In Gaza and Ramallah … next to Arafat’s and Che Guevara’s posters, a new poster of Chavez is being added…. [O]ne could even see Venezuelan flags in demonstrations in Beirut, next to Lebanese and Palestinian flags, and in many prominent newspapers across the Arab World, columnists wondered: why can’t Arab leaders do what a Latin American non-Arab non-Muslim leader dared do?”
At a time when nationalism in the Arab world is linked to Islamic movements such as Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon, both branded as terrorist movements by Washington, Chavez represents a very different trend.”
Indeed. And it is a powerful reminder of just how badly America is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Arab world.
More from Foreign Policy
America Is a Heartbeat Away From a War It Could Lose
Global war is neither a theoretical contingency nor the fever dream of hawks and militarists.
The West’s Incoherent Critique of Israel’s Gaza Strategy
The reality of fighting Hamas in Gaza makes this war terrible one way or another.
Biden Owns the Israel-Palestine Conflict Now
In tying Washington to Israel’s war in Gaza, the U.S. president now shares responsibility for the broader conflict’s fate.
Taiwan’s Room to Maneuver Shrinks as Biden and Xi Meet
As the latest crisis in the straits wraps up, Taipei is on the back foot.