Tsipras “Die Hard” fan of Venezuelan Near-Dictator Maduro

Alexis Tsipras with Nicolas Maduro. Photo by EUROKINISSI/PM's PRESS OFFICE/ANDREA BONETTI.

ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, fond of Leftist dictatorships, is one of the biggest fans of Venezuela’s Socialist President Nicolas Maduro, whose brutal regime has jailed opposition leaders, been accused of human rights violations and suppressed protests in which demonstrators have been killed.

Politico magazine named Tsipras among Europe’s six “die hard” supporters of Maduro, coming just after Greece reportedly also prevented a call for stronger sanctions against Venezuela after the South American country’s violence-tainted elections.

“(Tsipras) once mentioned Venezuela as an anti-capitalist model and his aides say one of his heroes is [Maduro’s predecessor Hugo] Chavez, with whom he shares a birthday (July 28),” the Brussels-based website said.

Quoting recent reports in the Greek media, Politico noted that as opposition leader before taking power in January 2015 that Tsipras sought cheap Venezuelan oil and diplomatic support in the case of a Greek exit from the Eurozone.

The article also refers to his alleged trip to Moscow in July 2013 for secret talks with a Venezuelan official. Tsipras is a former Communist Youth leader whose party is filled with Stalinists, Maoists, Leninists, Trotskyites and anarchist and terrorist sympathizers, critics say.

Other Maduro best buddies on the list were British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias in Spain, France’s far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, and Pope Francis.

The report came as Maduro on Aug. 10 recognized the Socialist Party-dominated constituent assembly as the Latin American country’s most powerful institution in his first appearance since the purged legislative body was inaugurated six days earlier.

The recent election of the 545-member assembly drew international condemnation for assuming the authority of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress to give Maduro near-dictatorial powers.

Earlier, the Financial Times said SYRIZA resisted calls among EU governments for sanctions against Maduro’s regime after the violent elections that also drew sanctions from the United States.
Greek diplomatic sources told the newspaper Kathimerini that the report was “misinformed” and in proclaiming that EU sanctions “were never proposed” in an Aug. 2 meeting.

Greece’s major rival New Democracy said SYRIZA must clarify its position in “a formal and categorical fashion,” with the foreign press portraying Greece as “a key and persistent champion of Maduro’s regime.”

The EU refused to recognize the vote or accept the new constituent assembly in Venezuela after an election an international polling company said was rigged and with Maduro openly saying he will use the body to punish his opponents.

But there was no move for sanctions although the EU’s Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc and member states were ready ready to “gradually step up their response” if democratic principles are further undermined.

The Financial Times said Spain pressed for sanctions in keeping with a move by the United States. The paper added that, “Greece has strongly resisted Spain’s demands, effectively ruling out the immediate prospect of European sanctions that cannot go ahead without unanimous support from member states,” which Athens denied.

There have been months of bloody and fatal protests the Maduro regime that SYRIZA admires despite its repression and scenes of people lining up for basic food stuffs despite the oil wealth in the country.