Syrian Government Finding Friends in Latin America

Venezuela, Cuba among those offering symbolic support


Syrian President Bashar Assad's government doesn't have many allies left in the world, but it's been enjoying support in Latin America this week from leftist leaders who see a fellow challenger to U.S. power in their Middle Eastern counterpart.

During trips to Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Al Mokdad, received mostly symbolic backing for his government's 20-month battle against rebels.

More than anything, just the fact that Al Mokdad visited minor international players such as Ecuador shows how isolated Syria has become on the world stage, as accusations of indiscriminate killing of civilians by Syrian forces draw widespread condemnation, said Anthony Skinner, Middle East-North Africa chief at the British risk analysis firm Maplecroft.