Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Chavez Hailed as Great Leader in Syria

08-Sep-09
By IWPR
Syrian media widely welcomed the visit of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who arrived in Damascus on September 3.



The editor-in-chief of the official newspaper al-Thawra, Asaad Abboud, described Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Chavez as “great leaders” who give hope to humanity and the world.



The columnist said in a September 4 editorial that both Latin America and Middle Eastern countries had suffered from the hegemony of imperialistic nations and they both refused to “silence their consciences”.



The state-run Tishreen daily also praised Chavez for standing by the countries of the Middle East during difficult times.



The newspaper paper’s editor-in-chief, Samira al-Masalma, wrote on September 3 that Venezuela and its leadership had proved to be real defenders of human rights when they supported Lebanon and Gaza against Israeli aggression.



She said that the Syrian people thought of Chavez as one of the most famous leaders to embody the struggle against imperialistic forces.



Meanwhile, the news website all4Syria published a different opinion about Chavez’s visit.



Khawla Ghazi wrote on September 6 that Chavez had nothing to offer to Arabs and Syrians but hollow slogans.



She said that Venezuela had a weaker economy than Syria.



The columnist criticised Chavez for maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel after dismissing the Israeli ambassador from his country during the Jewish State’s assault on Gaza earlier this year.



Ghazi said that Chavez “sold Arabs heroism and promises” while continuing to sell his oil to the United States.

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