Fresh from lending support to his comrade and ally Muammar Qaddafi, beloved Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez is now throwing his weight behind the murderous dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. While the body count in Syria expands—human rights groups claim over 400 people have been killed during recent anti-government protests—Chavez is denouncing unnamed imperialists for always assuming the worst of Assad.
"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.
I've written quite a bit about the Venezuelan caudillo over the years.