President Raisi’s Latin America Tour Aims to Build Solidarity with Non-Islamic Nations
Xavier Villar, Orinoco Tribune, Jun 15, 2023 —
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is presently on his maiden tour of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation, with the aim of expanding economic, political, and scientific cooperation between Tehran and the three Latin American countries.
Several experts have emphasized that this visit aims to highlight similarities between the Islamic Republic and the three Latin American countries, particularly in their political stance towards the West.
It’s important here to explain the political similarities between them from a historical perspective with a focus on the connection between Western ideology and colonialism.
To understand the critique of the colonial project from an external perspective to the Western discourse, it is essential to grasp this ontological relationship between the West and colonialism.
This long-term perspective highlights the existence of a geography of violence that connects various struggles, with their local particularities, in a joint fight against racial terror, global capitalism, and the pervasive violence of the Western discourse.
The geography of violence generated by the inseparable combination of Western ideology and colonialism has been and continues to be justified by many as a supposed epistemic superiority of the West, rather than recognizing it as fundamentally linked to power and violence.
The Western narrative itself explains its origins benevolently, concealing the multiple forms of violence that shaped this geography of violence.
The geography of violence created by Western grammar encompasses diverse epistemologies and political visions. However, they are all recognized through what Martinican politician and writer Aimé Césaire calls “the compass of suffering”.
In other words, the various political possibilities arising from different places and political traditions have been brutally affected by Western influence.
The resistance against Western hegemony, in which President Raisi’s visit to Latin America is framed, cannot consist of homogenizing political responses, as that would perpetuate Western ideology as the dominant political discourse.
This leads us to an analysis of the difference between multilateralism and post-West ideology.
A multilateralism that does not involve the dismantling of the political order created by West will not lead to true liberation and reconfiguration of what we have referred to as the geography of violence.
On the other hand, a post-Western ideology is the horizon that should guide all those peoples who recognize themselves as allies and who use the compass of suffering to publicly distinguish between friends and enemies.
This post-Western vision is clearly identified both in the Islamic Revolution and in the current foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This foreign policy aims to politically connect the diverse peoples inhabiting the geography of violence with the intention of creating new political possibilities that transcend the hegemony of Western ideology.
Another way to explain this is that the mostazafin, the Islamic “other” of the West, can build not only intra-Islamic solidarities but also extra-Islamic solidarities.
President Raisi’s visit is part of this quest for extra-Islamic solidarities.
Iran has observed a clear decline of US hegemony in West Asia. An outstanding example of this setback is the restoration of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran a few months ago.
The fact that one of the key US allies in the region acknowledges that this alliance does not guarantee regional stability or Saudi Arabia’s internal security clearly indicates the end of Western hegemony in the region.
The Islamic Republic understands that dismantling Western ideology and the oppression associated with it is only possible through a broad and pragmatic vision that brings together different political articulations in a unified struggle.
This does not mean creating a single political identity that erases, for instance, Iran’s Islamic horizon.
Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua can also be seen as another element that contradicts the theory of the “end of history” proposed by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama.
In 1992, Francis Fukuyama wrote: “What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such… That is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”
While it is true that Fukuyama has since nuanced his views, the “end of history” idea became a political dogma for those within the West who believed that Western ideology was the only legitimate possibility to address political matters.
The concept of the “end of history” implied the infinite perpetuation of the West horizon. That is why solidarities among diverse peoples who have suffered and continue to suffer due to that very horizon are vital in demonstrating two things.
Firstly, the liberal project of the “end of history” was merely a desire and not a political reality. Secondly, we are already in the post-West period.