Leading “Anti-Imperialist” Hugo Chavez And The Syrian Murderer.
You can always trust on the inflated ego of dictators to get the better of them. In this case, the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez expresses his support for the Syrian dictatorship, AFP reports:
“”From here we greet president Bashar al-Assad,” Chavez said, after witnesses reported that Syrian troops backed by tanks had rolled into the town of Daraa, the epicenter of recent anti-regime protests, killing at least 25 people.
“Terrorists are being infiltrated into Syria and producing violence and death — and once again, the guilty one is the (Syrian) president, without anyone investigating anything,” said Chavez.
He gave no further details to support his claims.
Chavez, a close Assad ally in Latin America, criticized the “imperial madness” of the international community which, according to him, seeks to attack Syria under the pretext of defending its people.
“They’re starting to say: ‘Let’s see if we sanction the government, we’re going to freeze their assets, we’ll blockade them, throw bombs on them, in order to defend the people.’
“Wow, what cynicism. But that’s the empire, it’s imperial madness,” he said.
When Chavez talks about “the empire,” he is usually referring to the United States.
While critics say Damascus is using its troops to crush dissent, the Syrian army said that citizens invited the soldiers into Daraa to hunt “extremist terrorist groups.”
Some 390 people have been killed in security crackdowns since the protests erupted in Syria, rights activists and witnesses say. “
This is despite the fact that Bashar al-Assad’s regime has killed about 400 civilians since the start of the revolts in Syria, according to Reuters:
“Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 400 civilians in their campaign to crush month-long pro-democracy protests, the Syrian human rights organization Sawasiah said on Tuesday.”
This is Amnesty International’s page on Syria:
“In 2008, Syria ratified the Arab Charter on Human Rights. However, laws continue to restrict freedom of expression and give the police powers to arrest and detain without trial due to an official state of emergency that was introduced in 1963 after the Ba’th party took power. In 2005, permission was given for the formation of new political parties, but human rights defenders, women and ethnic Kurds face discrimination in law and daily life.
The country retains the death penalty, torture is carried out with impunity and 17,000 disappeared people are unaccounted for. Syria currently hosts around 1.4 million Iraqi refugees and has a 500,000-strong longstanding Palestinian refugee population. “