Chavez Powering Syria's Tanks
Venezuela sending diesel fuel to Assad regime
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2012 10:24 AM CDT
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, speaks with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a welcoming ceremony at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Saturday, June 26, 2010.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

(Newser) – Syria's latest ally: Venezuela. President Hugo Chávez is sending diesel fuel to Syria in order to help Bashar al-Assad sidestep those pesky sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reports. And the fuel is a big deal: It's powering the tanks and vehicles currently bearing down on rebels in the country; one activist calls it "the lifeblood of the killing regime." Venezuela's state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA or PdVSA, is about to send the fourth major diesel shipment to Syria in eight months—and the publicly acknowledged deals come packaged with other benefits, like protecting Syria's foreign-exchange reserves.

There are big bucks involved: Before the sanctions, Syria relied mainly on Europe for diesel, getting just $6 million worth from Venezuela in 2010; estimates now place the shipments in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Venezuela is also doing business with blacklisted Syrian companies, documents show, among them the Commercial Bank of Syria. Chávez has defended his actions, saying he wants to build an "anti-imperial" group of allies against American hegemony. Currently, there's nothing the US can do to stop Venezuela, though lawmakers are writing legislation that could help.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
HANKHILL
Jul 11, 2012 10:27 PM CDT
damn there goes the vacation again!
apocalypso
Jul 11, 2012 5:33 AM CDT
big fucking deal. American media with your laughable insistence that anyone who threatens the dollar as fiat currency is a "bloodthirsty dictator". You lie lie lie lie lie so much just to protect your bloodsoaked little dollar bills that nobody with half a brain could possibly take you seriously. I don't even believe the Holocaust happened anymore, no wonder they have to threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust with jail time--because once you break the mental programming and stop swallowing everything they feed you without question, the whole monolith of lies comes crumbling down, and it never had anything to do with race or religion. Race and religion are just the way they pull the ignorant dogs into the fray to use for cannon fodder, but it has always been about currency, currency, currency. And it always will.
TiredMemeCat
Jul 10, 2012 9:31 PM CDT
Finally something with teeth to rid the world of this a-hole: aiding and abetting Crimes Against Humanity.