Venezuela stands by Syria diesel supplies
CARACAS - Venezuela has sent at least two shipments of diesel fuel to Syria recently and will continue to supply Syrian President Bashar Assad's government "whenever required" despite Western sanctions, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Monday.

Ramirez was confirming information this month showing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's administration had emerged as a rare supplier of diesel to Syria, potentially undermining Western measures over its crackdown on anti-government protests.

"We have been sending at least two shipments," Ramirez, who is one of the most powerful men in Chavez's socialist government, told reporters in Caracas.
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