The Arab World’s favourite leader is visiting the Arab World’s second favourite leader. Hugo Chavez is in Syria.
Today, he has paid a visit to the southern city of Sweida, and he says he feels Arab:
“I feel that I’m Syrian and committed to Syrian people … I feel that Damascus is my home and al-Sweida is my house.”
Huge numbers of Syrians and Lebanese emigrated to South America in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of them came from Sweida. So when their descendants returned, they brought back the Spanish language and South American culture. Sweida is little Venezuela. And for that reason, Syria is the world’s biggest importer of the South American drink Maté.
No wonder Hugo Chavez feels at home.