The Houthi movement that governs northern Yemen joined socialist and Nasserist parties in expressing solidarity with Venezuela’s leftist government against a US coup attempt.
By Ben Norton
The de facto government of Yemen and leftist parties in the country have expressed strong support for Venezuela, as the United States oversees a right-wing coup attempt against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
Yemen’s governing Houthi movement, which is officially known as Ansar Allah, praised Venezuela’s socialist government for resisting US imperialism and supporting the rights of Palestinians.
The Yemeni nationalist group also linked the struggle in Yemen to that of both Venezuela and Syria, highlighting how Washington has employed similar tactics of destabilization and proxy warfare against all three nations.
Ansar Allah has governed Yemen since late 2014, and controls the majority of the populated areas in the north of the country.
Since March 2015, the United States and its allies Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have waged a brutally destructive war on Yemen. And while this extreme violence has unleashed the largest humanitarian catastrophe on Earth and led to well over 100,000 preventable deaths, it has been unable to remove Ansar Allah and its allies from power.
The Grayzone contacted the Houthi movement’s communications team and inquired about its position on Venezuela. Mohammed Albukhaiti, a member of the political office of Ansar Allah, sent the following statement to The Grayzone:
The American coalition that is destroying Yemen at this moment, under the pretext of protecting the “legitimacy” of a president that has lost all viability; the same coalition that is destroying Syria under the pretext of overthrowing a real legitimate president, a president who still has all viability; this same US coalition is seeking today to destroy Venezuela under the pretext of overthrowing its legitimate elected president.
The reason for this contradiction in American policy is the honorable position of the government of Yemen, Syria, and the government of Venezuela in support of the right of the Palestinian people to live and exist in their land. Therefore, our stand by the Venezuelan people and their president and government is not a favor, but a response to the stance of the people of Venezuela towards Palestine and all Arab countries who stand against US policies.
From here, in front of the American embassy, we tell those in Venezuela that Sanaa only secured itself from terrorism (the terrorists that America claims to fight) after the Yemeni people expelled the US ambassador from Sanaa after the revolution of 21 September 2014.
Despite the dangers of daily US-backed Saudi bombing of civilians in Yemen — such as the massacre of 12 children and 10 women in airstrikes on civilian homes on March 10 and 11 — Yemenis have taken to the streets to show support for Venezuela’s leftist government.
On February 28, Ansar Allah and members of Yemen’s socialist party and Nasserist party held a solidarity demonstration in the capital Sanaa.
Yemeni journalist Hussain Albukhaiti, who is in Sanaa, shared photos from the protest.
They waved Venezuelan flags and held up photos of President Maduro. Other demonstrators had photos of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, along with Syrian flags.
Political leaders gave speeches while standing on top of large US and Israeli flags.
Demonstrators held up a cartoon showing Uncle Sam armed with a flamethrower, preparing to burn down a house representing Venezuela, while in the background can be seen smoldering ruins of homes reading Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.
Other protesters had a cartoon with US President Donald Trump holding a puppet of Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó.
While the Western corporate media has simplistically portrayed Ansar Allah as a sectarian Islamist group solely motivated by religious ideology, its actual politics are more like those of an anti-imperialist national-liberation movement, similar to the Lebanese political party and armed group Hezbollah.
This is not the first time officials from the Houthi movement have expressed support for Venezuela. In an interview with journalist Safa al-Ahmad for her 2015 film The Fight for Yemen, senior Ansar Allah member Dhayf Allah al-Shami remarked, “We support Chávez in Venezuela. Why this insistence that we receive support from Iran, other than wanting to turn the struggle in this country and the region into a sectarian one, based on the American and Zionist agenda?”
The Ansar Allah official added, “We will help oppressed people all over the world.”