The UWP this week challenged the SLP government to come clean about its position on the Syrian crisis, at the same time as the US President was pressing congressional leaders to support strikes against the Bashar al-Assad regime. In a press release dated September 4th, the opposition party quoted from a February 2012 meeting of the “leftist bloc” Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA), out of which came a firm denouncement of what members called a “conspiracy” against the Syrian government.
“The heads of state and government of the Bolivarian Alliance reiterate their condemnation of the systematic policy of interference and destabilization in the brother Arab Republic of Syria which (the policy) intends to impose by force on the Syrian people with a change of rulers…”
This followed a visit to Syria in October 2011 by a delegation ALBA member states including Foreign Ministers from Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador, underlining “the deep relations between Syria and ALBA countries” according to Foreign & Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem.
As recently as June this year, Reuters reported that the eight nations which make up ALBA had praised President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria. “We are worried that the same process of interference that foreign powers applied in Libya will be repeated … We value the Syrian government’s steps in attending to the legitimate demands of those who have protested peacefully… and the program of reforms carried out, as well as its willingness to implement the peace plan of Kofi Annan.” The statement was issued despite condemnation by the UN Human Rights Council after the massacre of 108 residents of Houla by al-Assad’s forces in May, which was supported by all member states bar China, Russia and a couple of abstainees.
This week’s UWP release claims: ‘It is well known that one of the leading ALBA member territories has been making shipments of oil to the Syrian regime as a demonstration of the policy of support. We now know if the imminent US strike against Syria following the heartless snuffing out of almost 1500 lives in a Damascus suburb last week by the Assad regime through the use of chemical munitions …” then calls for the SLP government to ‘indicate where it stands …”