Wolf-Dieter Vogel has a strongly argued essay up at the online magazine Qantara about the nexus between Islamism and the authoritarian left, best embodied by Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution. He cites examples in which the Latin American caudillo has expressed solidarity with the Iranian regime—most recently, Chavez categorized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election as “very important for the peoples who are fighting for a better world.” Vogel sees the sort of kitsch socialism now en vogue in the hemisphere as very amenable to conspiracy theories:

“[F]or them it is about the ‘good’ oppressed peoples’ fight against their enemies, the ‘outsiders’, who attack ‘their’ culture, however that may be defined; the ‘good people’ who are lied to and cheated by propaganda or other influences from ‘outside’.

And since one of the oldest conspiracy theories on record is that the Jews control the world, Vogel writes, it makes perfect sense that Chavez and his allies (like Nicaraguan head of state Daniel Ortega and Bolivian President Evo Morales) would align themselves with Holocaust deniers, theocrats, and guerilla proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

False Friends [Qantara]
Related: United By Hate [Boston Review]