Clear signs of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin are on display in the Venezuelan capital. A mural of him alongside the late Hugo Chávez Frías has been unveiled Monday in appreciation. Another mural of Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona is to be seen in Caracas not far off, it was reported.
Putin and Chavez together is a message of solidarity with the Russian government that has always supported us: the first vaccine we had was the Russian one, said Francisco Moreno of the Zapatista group. The painting also shows the Z for victory donned by Russian troops in Ukraine and also by some athletes competing worldwide, albeit under a neutral flag due to sanctions.
We will be stronger when we are more united. Bolivar can be read next to the late Argentine footballer's image.
We want to thank Russia and its president Vladimir Putin for all the support he has given us, Moreno said. Together with some of his comrades, he painted the graffiti at the entrance of an indoor football pitch.
In fact, my mother was vaccinated with Sputnik, Moreno added.
Moscow has been a key ally of Venezuela since the Chávez years (1999-2013) and continued with current President Nicolas Maduro, who has thus been able to circumvent international sanctions.
In the painting, together with the word we shall overcome, a Sukhoi fighter plane is also illustrated, representing one of the military equipment agreements subscribed between both countries, which included Russian-made air systems and weapons.
Also depicted is the Z, which has become a symbol of support for the invasion of Ukraine.
The mural represents Russian victory, Moreno notes. They want to sell Russia as a monster, just as they want to sell Venezuela as a dictatorship.
In one corner of the newly painted court, Russian and Venezuelan flags are also flying. The inauguration over the weekend was attended by Russia's Ambassador to Venezuela, Sergei Melik-Bagdasarov. ”We thanked him (the ambassador) for the support we have received in the pandemic and the US blockade, said Moreno, a die-hard Chavist who also condemns the boycott of Russian athletes.”