Venezuela confirms diesel shipments to Syria
Venezuela's oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, confirmed that his government was sending diesel fuel shipments to war-torn Syria as the increasingly isolated Middle Eastern regime looks to put down an almost yearlong uprising, Wall Street Journal reported.
"We have sent at least two shipments to Syria" as part of a standing agreement with the country, Mr. Ramirez told reporters, adding that Venezuela plans to send more "when needed."
Earlier this month, a 47,000-metric-ton Venezuelan vessel named Negra Hipolita was scheduled to arrive in the Syrian port city of Banias, shipping records on the Marinetraffic website showed.
Mr. Ramirez also denounced Western pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the allied Iranian government.
"We do not agree with sanctions against any country, much less on a fellow OPEC member like Iran," Mr. Ramirez said, echoing recent comments by President Hugo Chávez.
As Washington's loudest critic in the region, President Chávez has frequently warned President Assad that "imperial" forces are looking to topple his government.