Sharing the Same Demons: The Venezuelan-Iranian Alliance and Their Anti-U.S. Ideology


  • Silvia Calderon Department of Political Science, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Florida Atlantic University
  • Mirya R. Holman Department of Political Science Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Florida Atlantic University


Political power, Foreign Policy, Strategic Alliances, Political Economy, U.S. Foreign Relations


The Venezuela—Iran alliance had the power to stir up controversy and generate worry within the U.S. Despite differences in type of government, economic system, religion, and culture, both countries established a successful strategic coalition. How can we account for the formation of this strong partnership that provoked adoration and revulsion in equal measure? How did Chavez and Ahmadinejad benefit from their strategic cooperation? In addressing those two questions, my research examines the ideological and the economic factors that brought both countries together. It posits that the relationship between Venezuela and Iran was the manifestation of the joint efforts toward a common enemy, the “American empire.” My research focuses on the economic solidarity and political discourses as sources to promote their common anti-U.S. sentiment, sustain their popularity, and prevail in power. It is important to explain how despite domestic and foreign opposition against Chavez and Ahmadinejad, both leaders prevailed as heads of state throughout all these years. As such, by evaluating their past activities and opaque maneuvers, it is possible to understand how they were able to bypass international sanctions, consolidate their power, suppress political opponents, and forge regional and foreign partnerships.