July 19, 2012 / 3:37 AM / 7 years ago

Venezuela condemns Syria bombing, warns against intervention

CARACAS, July 18 (Reuters) - Venezuela on Wednesday condemned the bombing in Damascus that killed the Syrian defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law, urging foreign powers against military intervention.

Socialist President Hugo Chavez has helped undermine sanctions against Syria by shipping diesel fuel to the embattled country, and has described the conflict there as an international conspiracy backed by Western powers.

“The government (of Venezuela) expresses its most profound condolences to the valiant people of Syria, and in particular to the families of the victims of this new crime,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added that Venezuela “exhorts the international community to avoid any armed intervention that would only contribute to a deepening of the conflict.”

A bloc of left-wing Latin American governments known as ALBA, led principally by Chavez, in June accused Western nations of planning to intervene in Syria as they did in Libya and praised al-Assad despite widespread global condemnation.

Chavez remained a strong ally of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi throughout the uprising that ultimately ousted him with the help of European and U.S. air strikes.

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