NEW YORK, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC strongly criticized Venezuela President Maduro for using Nazi imagery to defend his regime against a growing wave of protesters.
"We are the new Jews of the 21st century that Hitler pursued," Maduro told his Cabinet meeting. "We don't carry the yellow star of David," he continued. "We carry red hearts that are filled with the desire to fight for human dignity. And we are going to defeat them, these 21st century Nazis."
In addition, Diosdado Cablello, former speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly and an ally of Maduro, on his popular TV program, compared opposition marches with Kristallnacht, the vicious pogroms against Jews, Jewish-owned businesses, and synagogues unleashed by the Nazis in 1938.
Venezuela's economy and political situation have continued to deteriorate sharply since Maduro was elected president, after the death of longtime dictator Hugo Chavez in 2013.
Leaders of CAIV, the umbrella body of Venezuelan Jewry and an AJC international partner, expressed their firm rejection of the misuse of the Holocaust for political purposes.
"It is beyond appalling that President Maduro would invoke the Holocaust in an effort to protect himself and his regime, and to attack and defame the opposition," said Dina Siegel Vann, AJC Director of Latino and Latin American Affairs.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee