Ahmadinejad does Bolivia

We understand why geopolitics practically mandate that Evo and Hugo do this, but it still rubs us the wrong way. We keep feeling like we have to belabor the rather obvious point that Ahmadinejad is no leftist. From AP, Sept. 27:

CARACAS — Iran’s president opened his nation’s wallet to Bolivia on Thursday and then visited Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, in a post-U.N. trip to boost ties with Latin American leftists who are increasingly embracing Iran as a counterweight to U.S. influence.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged to invest $1 billion in Bolivia over the next five years to help the poor Andean nation tap its vast natural gas reserves, extract minerals, generate more electricity and fund agricultural and construction projects.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who joins Chavez as one of Iran’s key allies, called Ahmadinejad’s visit historic. The two nations established diplomatic relations for the first time, and Morales pledged they “will work together from this day on, for our people, for life and for humanity.”

Arriving late Thursday for a brief visit in Venezuela, Ahmadinejad was greeted warmly by Chavez on a red carpet rolled out in front of the presidential palace.

Chavez embraced the Iranian leader, calling him “one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters” and “one of the great fighters for true peace.”

See our last posts on Iran, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ahmadinejad’s Latin America strategy.