Girish Gupta

HOME

BY COUNTRY

Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Venezuelan lawmaker vows to fight for Syrian army
Aug. 29, 2013 — Caracas, Venezuela

Published by GlobalPost

A Venezuelan congressman has requested indefinite leave from office to fight alongside the Syrian army, as Western powers debate a military attack on the nation ravaged for more than two years by civil war.

Abdel el-Zabayar, a member of the ruling socialist party who is of Syrian descent, has requested authorization from Venezuela’s National Assembly to fight against the rebels, according to Venezuelan media reports Thursday. The permission appears to have been granted.

“Syria needs full support against these criminals,” Zabayer wrote in his request, according to a fellow lawmaker speaking to state television.

Venezuelan authorities have undermined Western sanctions to supply fuel to Assad’s government during the civil war, which the United Nations says has claimed at least 100,000 lives.

"The decision of the [Venezuelan] government is to give all our support to Syria," Zabayar said last year, when Reuters revealed Venzuela's shipments of diesel fuel.

GlobalPost attempted to make contact with the congressman, who was unreachable Thursday morning.

Taking after his predecessor Hugo Chavez, President Nicolas Maduro has been vociferous in his support for the government of his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad.

President Maduro on Wednesday reaffirmed his support for the Assad regime, in line with a number of controversial relationships Caracas forged under the late Chavez — including with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Libya’s slain leader Muammar Gaddafi — and other signals defying a disapproving Washington.

Earlier this week, Maduro said his government had thwarted a planned assassination attempt against him, which he claimed involved the United States and its ally Colombia.

“You know what the Western plan is?” Maduro said. “It’s the same as in 2002, when they launched a coup against Chavez and invaded Iraq. The plan is to eliminate me as they attack Syria.”

“We’re not going to abandon the Syrian people,” he said earlier this week in Caracas, adding that Western powers must await the results of a UN investigation into an apparent chemical attack near Damascus before taking action.

The rhetoric closely echoes that of Chavez, who died in March. Before his death, he said of the West's Syria strategy: “It's the same formula [Western powers] used against Libya: inject violence, terrorism from abroad and then invoke the UN.”

“If Syria has problems, Syrians should be the ones to solve them,” Chavez added a few months later, calling the Syrian rebels “terrorists” and lambasting Western powers for supporting them.

Chavez visited Assad in Damascus in 2009, on a tour that included stops in Libya, Algeria, Iran, Belarus and Russia. A year later, Syria's president repaid Venezuela the visit.

Chavez long pricked the ears of Western diplomats with his affinity for pariah states such as Iran, one of Syria’s few allies. He welcomed Iran’s Ahmadinejad to Caracas in June last year, joking that the pair were going to the “basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles.”

Some Latin American leaders share Venezuela’s views on Syria. In a letter published in Cuba’s communist newspaper Granma on Wednesday, Fidel Castro wrote: “The Empire's Navy and Air Force and their allies are preparing to begin a genocide against the Arab people.”

Overall, however, Latin America is not unified behind the region’s biggest oil exporter in favor of Assad and against the fight to topple him.

Yet many in the region are uneager for an international military response to the Syrian forces’ alleged chemical weapons attack on its own people.

Without the UN Security Council’s backing military action, Brazil’s new Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said, “We will always consider [military intervention] a violation of international law and of the UN Charter."

Filed from
Caracas, Venezuela






More...

Exclusive: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles
May. 22, 2017


Venezuelan opposition activists march to Leopoldo Lopez' jail
Apr. 28, 2017


Venezuela says inflation 274 percent last year, economists say far higher
Apr. 20, 2017


Venezuelan protests against government leave three dead
Apr. 19, 2017


Venezuelans return to streets, roused by ban on opposition leader
Apr. 8, 2017


Venezuelan opposition, security forces clash in anti-Maduro protests
Apr. 6, 2017


Venezuela security forces battle anti-Maduro protesters
Apr. 4, 2017


Venezuela money supply up 200 pct in year, fastest rise on record
Apr. 3, 2017


Amid protests, Venezuela's Maduro seeks to defuse court row
Mar. 31, 2017


Venezuela begins republishing key economic indicator after hiatus
Mar. 23, 2017


Crisis-hit Venezuela halts publication of another major indicator
Mar. 21, 2017


Back in Venezuela, 'world's worst skier' proud of his performance
Feb. 26, 2017


Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis
Dec. 15, 2016


Desperate to dump soon-worthless cash, Venezuelans flock to banks
Dec. 13, 2016


Inflation-hit Venezuela to pull largest bill from circulation
Dec. 11, 2016








© Girish Gupta