zuelan President Hugo Chavez is strengthening ties with Syria on the Mideast-leg of an international tour partly intended to counter what he calls U.S. "imperialism." Chavez flew in Wednesday from Tehran, where he and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said they are united in efforts to establish a "new world order" that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs. Since President Barack Obama took office, the U.S. has made repeated overtures to Syria. But Syria has been boosting ties with outspoken critics of Washington, such as Venezuela and Iran.