Iran delivered a large food shipment to its crisis-stricken ally Venezuela on Sunday to set up the country’s first Persian supermarket, the Iranian Embassy in Venezuela claimed this weekend.
The Iranian cargo ship, known as the Golsan, departed Bandar Abbas on May 15th and arrived at its destination on Saturday.
“The Golsan will arrive carrying food to open the first Iranian supermarket in Venezuela,” the Caracas-based embassy tweeted on Saturday. “Another success in friendly and fraternal relations between two countries #IranandVenezuela”:
El día de mañana (domingo 21 de Junio) va a llegar el buque Golsan que trae alimentos para inaugurar el primer supermercado iraní en Venezuela. Otro éxito en las relaciones amistosas y fraternales entre dos paises.#IranyVenezuela pic.twitter.com/HVcwxqE9Hb
— Embajada de la R.I. de Irán en Venezuela (@Eiranencaracas) June 20, 2020
As well as food supplies, Tehran also sent a shipment of humanitarian aid, including vital medical supplies and coronavirus testing kits, to help Venezuela battle the ongoing pandemic. Iran did not specify if the test kits sent to Venezuela are legitimate testing kits or the bizarre “magnetic” devices that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, has peddled as coronavirus detectors.
Despite a significant increase in recent weeks, Venezuelan health officials continue to claim the country’s infection rate is well below the global average, reporting nearly 4,000 cases and just 33 deaths from the virus. Analysts have questioned these figures, especially given how the Maduro regime has openly threatened to “investigate” scientists disputing the official figures.
Bilateral relations between Venezuela and Iran – both of whose regimes share the same authoritarian, “anti-imperialist” world view – have become increasingly important to both sides as a result of economic sanctions placed upon them by the United States, the majority of which target their vital oil industries. The have shared warm diplomatic ties long before that however, back to 1998 when socialist dictator Hugo Chávez seized power in Venezuela.
Last month, Iran also sent five tankers loaded with around $45.5 million worth of gasoline and other essentials to Venezuela. Despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, the South American country is experiencing chronic shortages of gasoline and other energy sources, leading to enormous queues at gas stations and regular power cuts.
Shortages in Venezuela do not just apply to energy, but practically every kind of living essential as the socialist country continues to crumble under the pressure of the worst economic crisis in its history, leading to a humanitarian exodus over greater proportions than Syria. Iran is desperate to sell its oil to keep its self afloat, with its economy also continuing to suffer under the pressure of American sanctions.
Dictator Nicolás Maduro announced his intention this month to visit Iran in the near future to “personally thank the people” for their support of his regime. He did not specify a date for the trip.