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Assad should worry about the Gaddafi precedent

Writing at Huffington Post, Thor Halvorssen and Alex Gladstein of the Oslo Freedom Forum report on how Venezuela’s ruler Hugo Chavez has stood by his “brother” Bashar al-Assad as the Damascus regime’s brutal and murderous suppression of the Syrian people continues into a second year. Most notably, Venezuela has shipped more than 600,000 barrels of oil to Syria in the past few months to help fuel tanks and other military vehicles used to crush the uprising by opponents of the regime.

And while Venezuelans of Syrian origin bravely protest Assad’s brutality, they are making themselves and their families potential targets of his regime.

If Assad believes in ominous portents, he might want to consider the similar embrace of Chavez and his “brother” the late Muammar Gaddafi.

First Gaddafi, then Assad received replicas of Simon Bolivar’s sword from Chavez when they visited Caracas.

And both Gaddafi and Assad expressed their gratitude by renaming things in Chavez’s honor: a football stadium in the Libyan city of Benghazi and, Halvorssen and Gladstein report, a street in Damascus.

I am quite sure the stadium no longer bears Chavez’s name. The sooner the Damascus street gets a new name, the better.