CARACAS- Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez reiterated his support for ousted Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling them "brothers."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday he was praying for Libya's deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi and also sent a message of solidarity to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against "Yankee" aggression.
"I ask God for the life of our brother Kadhafi... No one knows where Kadhafi is, I think he went to the desert," Chavez told official television VTV on Saturday.
The 57-year-old Venezuelan leader has defended Kadhafi since the start of the uprising against his regime in February, accusing NATO of using the conflict to gain control over Libya's oil.
"The Libyans are resisting the invasion and aggression. I ask God to protect the life of our brother Muammar Gaddafi. They're hunting him down to kill him," he said.
"No one knows where Gaddafi is; I think he went off to the desert ... to lead the resistance. What else can he do?"
"I spoke yesterday with the president of Syria, our brother President Bashar al-Assad," Chavez said in a televised ceremony to present low-cost household appliances for Venezuelans. He indicated that President al-Assad is fighting "an aggression from Yankee imperialists and their European allies."
"From here, we send our solidarity to the Syrian people, to President Bashar. They are resisting imperial aggression, the attacks of the Yankee Empire and its European allies." he added.
Foreign ministers of the eight member states in the leftist ALBA bloc plan to travel to Syria to prevent what Chavez called "the madness of war by (US) President (Barack) Obama and his imperial allies to destroy the Syrian people."
Latin America's ALBA block of leftist nations would soon send a mediation team to Syria to try and help promote a negotiated solution to the unrest, Chavez added. "This warlike madness is intended by (U.S.) President (Barack) Obama and his imperial allies to destroy the Syrian people," he said.