#challenge365 #day64 an end and a new beginning. Dear Venezuela, from the land of the maple - as these past four years, I am with you. Today, the president Hugo Chavez has passed away. He fought against cancer and cancer won. For the first time in years, he couldn’t win the battle. This, although brings hope to many of us, is certainly not a reason to celebrate. We must embrace now more than ever endurance and be strong for the times to come. Venezuela now has the tough job to bring together a divided country, two different colours, different ideologies… Most importantly, we have to work for a better country, a safe one.
AP cover of President Ahmadinejad’s arrival in Venezuela
1. Wide of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s plane on tarmac, red carpet and honour guard in front
2. Wide of Ahmadinejad walking down the stairs from the plane
3. Cutaway of people waving Iranian and Venezuelan flags
4. Wide of Ahmadinejad with Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua on his right
5. Mid of Ahmadinejad and Jaua walking past honour guard
6. Zoom out of Ahmadinejad’s convoy leaving airport
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Venezuela on Sunday to begin a four-nation Latin American tour aimed at showing off relationships with some of Tehran’s close allies.
It is the Iranian leader’s fifth visit to Venezuela.
Ahmadinejad smiled and waved as he stepped off a plane at Simon Bolivar International Airport near Caracas to greet Venezuelan officials on Sunday evening.
He was greeted by Vice President Elias Jaua.
Ahmadinejad is to meet with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez on Monday, and the two both plan to travel to Nicaragua for Tuesday’s inauguration of newly re-elected President Daniel Ortega.
He will also travel to Cuba and Ecuador.
Ahmadinejad has been to all the countries before, and the visit seems aimed at reinforcing ties with leaders who speak up for Iran.
Ahmadinejad’s government finds itself largely isolated in the standoff over its nuclear programme, and the new sanctions targeting Iran’s Central Bank and oil industry have triggered an abrupt drop in the nation’s currency.
Iran’s growing economic ties with Latin America could give it some breathing space from the sanctions, and by embracing Hugo Chavez and his allies, Ahmadinejad also gets a chance to join like-minded leaders in denouncing US foreign policy.
Iran’s investments in Latin America have remained relatively small, but its growing presence has generated worries in Washington.
Last year, the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company for delivering at least two cargoes of oil products to Iran.
The US and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear energy programme.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.