But now Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, variously portrayed as a six-times elected champion of the people or a constitution-fiddling demagogue, is dead.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has mourned the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a “great loss” for Syria: “The demise of this unique leader is as much a great loss for me personally and the Syrian people as it is for the people of Venezuela,”
During a visit by the Syrian president to Caracas, in June 2010, Chavez had stated: “How not to support the government of President Bashar al-Assad since it is the legitimate government of Syria? Who to support? Terrorists, who want a transitional council, who kill people on all sides?"
That remark came despite the fact that Assad was appointed by his late father and Syria’s previous unelected leader, Hafez al-Assad (Chafez’s almost namesake!)
Assad is reported to have recently sent his deputy foreign minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, on a trip to Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela to sound out their respective leaders about the possibility of asylum. All three countries have left-wing governments that are, to varying degrees and in different ways, antagonistic toward the US.
The most likely destination for the Syrian despot would appear to be Venezuela. Who knows the son of Hafez may take over for his buddy Chafez. Lots of Syrians and Arabs in Venezuela!
Another close ally to Bashar-el-Assad, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also a close ally of Hugo Chavez (Iran invested billions in Venezuela) and the two leaders clearly got on very well together. In many ways, they had a similar style - both showmen and adept at talking directly to the man on the street. Iran has declared a day of mourning for President Chavez, and in an emotional statement, Mr. Ahmadinejad said Mr. Chavez was a "martyr" who would one day return.
During the protests against the result of the 2009 presidential elections, Mr. Chavez backed Mr. Ahmadinejad, and the Iranians find it hard to forgive him so they had this short and to the point comment on the Baztab site: "Chavez, please take Ahmadinejad with you!" Why did they leave Assad out?
The Onion announced that North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, 29, has officially been named the newspaper’s Sexiest Man Alive for the year 2012. GUESS who was named for 2011: the one and only Bashar-el-Assad of course. I guess being a terrorist and a dictator is sexy! That explains everything.
With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true. Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made The Onion’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile.
So well said. I would not have put it ANY different. Of course after the visits of celebrities like Eric Emerson Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google; William Blaine "Bill" Richardson III, an American politician who was 30th Governor of New Mexico, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration; and now the luminary Dennis Keith Rodman, a retired American Hall of Fame professional basketball player from Trenton NJ, who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks, Kim Jong-Un may win that sexy title again in 2013, or maybe his buddy Ahmadinejad.
The clique of these four musketeers: Hugo, Bashar, Kim and Mahmoud brilliantly illustrates the French proverb:
Dis-moi qui tu hantes et je te dirai qui tu es (Tell me who you frequent and I will tell you who you are)