Cultural exchanges between Iran and Venezuela are being promoted through their cooperation in book publishing and translation, according to the executive director of Monte Ávila Editores, Venezuela’s most prominent publishing house.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Omar Rangel expressed optimism about the progressing cultural interactions between the two countries.
Rangel believes that by translating books from Spanish to Persian, and vice versa, they can foster further cultural rapprochement.
At the 34th Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF), the Spanish and Portuguese versions of “Cell Number 14” were unveiled.
Rangel mentioned that this book was printed as a result of an agreement between Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Venezuela’s Ministry of Culture.
“Cell Number 14” contains the memoirs of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, documenting his struggles during the pre-revolution era in Iran.
The Spanish rendition of the book received a warm welcome from Spanish speakers and Venezuelan citizens, as highlighted by Rangel.
Venezuelan Minister of Culture Ernesto Villegas praised “Cell Number 14” for conveying the message of resistance and emphasized its potential to guide countries striving for independence and freedom.
Additionally, “Abril, Golpe Adentro” (translated as “April, inside the coup”), a book written by the Venezuelan Minister of Culture, will be unveiled during the book fair.
Rangel explained that the book delves into the coup against the former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez.
Following Chávez’s victory in the 2000 presidential elections, an unsuccessful coup attempt was orchestrated in 2002. The coup ultimately failed after 48 hours due to public support for Chávez.
Regarding the familiarity of the Venezuelan people with Persian literature, Rangel noted that in recent years, Ferdowsi’s monumental work, “Shahnameh,” one of the largest collections of Persian poetry, has been published in Spanish and distributed in Venezuela.
Rangel expressed hope that the ongoing cooperation in book publishing and Venezuela’s presence in this year’s book fair will contribute to greater familiarity among the Venezuelan people with Persian poetry.
He further mentioned that, until a couple of decades ago, most Venezuelans associated Iran primarily with its abundant oil and energy reserves.
However, since the presidency of Chávez, a new image of Iran has emerged, depicting it as a country rich in culture, literature, and productivity. This has allowed the people of Venezuela to discover other facets of Iran, he added.
Overseeing the Venezuela pavilion, Rangel said that his country is participating in the 34th edition of the exhibition, with over 95 book titles covering various subjects, including poetry, novels, and Spanish grammar instruction.
The exhibition features three publishing houses: Monte Ávila Editores, Rana Publications, and Ayacucho Library Publications.
Reflecting on the Tehran International Book Fair, Rangel mentioned that Venezuela has consistently participated in previous editions, while this year marks his personal debut.
He expressed his surprise at the extensive array of publications in Iran, along with the enthusiastic response from visitors, which has left a lasting impression on him.
The 34th edition of the book fair, which commenced on May 10, will run until May 20, offering an expansive platform for literary exchange and collaboration.