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Maduro Criticizes Potential US Intervention in Syria

Timothy Gill

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has become one of the most outspoken critics of potential US-led air strikes on Syria.

On Saturday, Maduro sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for “peace in Syria.” In the letter, Maduro asked Obama “to reflect on the unjust, nefarious, and terrorizing possibility of US military intervention against the people of Syria.” Maduro stated that never again should the US engage in disastrous events such as the interventions that took place into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. He also warned Obama that a US intervention might pave way for al-Qaeda to take power in Syria.

In the letter, Maduro asks Obama to stop the war machine from moving forward by standing up to “the hawks in the Pentagon” and to respect Syria’s sovereignty, abide by international law, and work through the United Nations.

Maduro has also recently stated that “the US has decided to arm a war against the Islamic and Arabic world in order to control it” as well as relieve itself from its recent economic crises by producing weapons for war.

Several South American multilateral organizations, including the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), have also criticized the potential US-led military assault against Syrian government forces. UNASUR issued a statement on August 30 rejecting external intervention into any country without the authority of the United Nations. In its statement, UNASUR also stated that the use of chemical weapons is a war crime and that it must be investigated according to international law in a fair and transparent manner.

The ALBA issued a statement on September 2 condemning President Obama for having “tried and convicted the Syrian government without waiting for the results from the United Nations and without a pronouncement from the international community and the UN Security Council.” The ALBA also condemned President Obama’s intention “to convert the US Congress into a world court that assumes the right to condemn countries and declare war against Syria.”

While in office, President Hugo Chávez maintained strong relations with Bashar al-Assad and even sent diesel shipments to Syria, flouting international sanctions.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has criticized the government’s support for Assad suggesting that it would have backed Hitler if he were alive. Overall, the opposition’s lack of commentary on the government’s stances has drawn more attention with some commentators suggesting it would be easy for state media to portray the opposition as tools of the empire.

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