Nelson Davila, Venezuela's charge d'affaires in Australia, addressed a 100-strong meeting on September 22 organised by the Socialist Alliance and the Lebanese Communist Party in Australia (LCPA), held at the Lebanese Cultural Centre in Brunswick.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's condemnation of Israel's brutal war against Lebanon and withdrawal of Venezuela's ambassador to Israel was warmly welcomed by people around the world, and Davila was presented with a letter of thanks by Nasser Mashni from Australians for Palestine. Nabil Massi from the LCPA said Venezuela is "known as a great friend" of those who suffered in Lebanon.
Davila told the meeting, "I'm not representing the people of Venezuela; I'm representing the dignity of the people of the world who are fighting imperialism ... Venezuela is being threatened as Iran is being threatened, as Iraq has been threatened and as Syria is being threatened."
In Australia, resistance to the empire is also necessary, he added. "Every time a meeting like this is held, a committee should be formed against the empire ... You can count on the support of the Venezuelan embassy, our doors are always open."
Right-wing websites have recently called for Davila's expulsion from Australia for "subversion". He responded that he is not being subversive against Australia but against "the empire".
Moreland mayor Tony Helou and the Socialist Alliance's Vannessa Hearman also addressed the meeting.