One of the most high-profile founders of the Black Lives Matter organization – now one of the most influential and powerful political movements on the planet – has a long history of supporting Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.
Maduro has presided over one of the world’s most repressive regimes since 2013 when his predecessor Hugo Chávez died. Under Maduro, Venezuelan police forces have committed a long list of human rights atrocities including the torture, kidnapping, rape, and killing of unarmed protesters. Under Maduro, Venezuela has become an especially dangerous place for minors.
In light of the prominence of Black Lives Matter – a global non-profit currently receiving millions in donations – photos have begun to circulate of Opal Tometi, a founder of the organization, hugging Maduro at the 2015 People of African Descent Leadership Summit in Harlem, New York, where several high-rank officials of the Venezuelan regime also participated. Maduro, currently banned from the United States, was in town for the annual United Nations General Assembly.
Tometi appears alongside Maduro on a Venezuelan government propaganda site’s news report from the event, raising a fist and embracing him. The photo appears to be taken in front of a giant photo of Maduro’s face.