Syrian President Bashar Al Assas is on a state visit to Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. Al Assad met with his counterpart in Venezuela Hugo Chavez. The two promised to work together to fight “Americas imperialist and capitalist interests.” Syria is particularly interested in Venezuelans oil supply. While Syria’s oil reserves dwindle, Venezuela has some of the largest reserves outside the US. In Brazil it is expected the delegation will sign technology agreements. Brazil’s Sao Paulo is home to the world’s second largest Syrian population after Damascus. In Argentina the two countries are expected to sign agreements on tourism, transportation and culture.
The Obama administration does not encourage Latin America’s desire to develop relationships in the Middle East. In December, Hillary Clinton warned these countries not to “flirt with Iran”. “They should take a look at what the consequences might well be for them. And we hope that they will think twice and we will support them if they do,” she added.