Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Chavez in Syria

Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is in Damascus today, repeating his usual messages of unveiled hostility to the United States and the West in general, and declaring that Venezuela and Syria are united against "U.S. imperialism". On Tuesday, following his trip to China, Chavez was in Malaysia, where the ostensible reason for his current bout of globe-trotting became apparent. Via AP:
In a visit to Malaysia earlier Tuesday, Chavez suggested his country is set to win a UN Security Council seat, saying the support of Malaysia and other nations would help defeat a U.S. campaign to block Venezuela's bid.

"We're going to occupy that seat with the support of countries like Malaysia," Chavez was quoted as saying by Venezuela's state news agency at an event with Malaysian business leaders.

U.S. officials, alarmed by Chavez's deepening ties with countries such as Iran and North Korea, have sought to block his country's bid for a rotating Security Council seat and are backing Guatemala instead.

Over the last six weeks, Chavez has traveled to a dozen countries, including Argentina, Russia, Belarus, Iran, Vietnam, Qatar, Mali, Benin, China, Malaysia and Syria, in what his opponents argue is a costly effort to drum up support for the UN bid.

Chavez insists he has not urged other nations to vote in favor of Venezuela, saying many countries have independently voiced support.
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