April Fool's? Nope. Muammar Qaddafi really does love Flamenco dancing.

April Fool's Day pranks about Muammar Qaddafi (including that he has been captured) are circulating online. But when it comes to the enigmatic leader, the truth is stranger than fiction.

AP/File
Qaddafi has a passion for Flamenco dancing and horse racing, according to a September 2009 cable titled 'A glimpse into Libyan leader Qadhafi's eccentricities.'

April Fool's Day is for pranks. Here's one: Muammar Qaddafi has a passion for Flamenco dancing.

Actually, that's true.

Colonel Qaddafi really does love the romantic Spanish spin, as was revealed last year in secret US cables published by WikiLeaks. Here are a few odd facts about Libya's 41-year ruler that could pass for April Fool's Day jokes. For this enigmatic leader, however, they're par for the course.

1. It takes two: Qaddafi has a passion for Flamenco dancing and horse racing, according to a September 2009 cable titled "A glimpse into Libyan leader Qadhafi's eccentricities."

Celebrations to mark his 40th year in power "included performances by dance troupes from Ukraine, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco, as well as musical performances by bands from Mexico, Russia, New Zealand, and a number of other nations. Qadhafi appeared particularly enthralled by Tuareg horse racing during two of the events, clapping and smiling throughout the races. The flamenco dancers that participated in his celebratory events appeared to spark a similar interest, as Qadhafi decided to stop in Seville (for a “personal trip,” according to the Spanish Ambassador here) on his way back to Libya from Venezuela specifically to attend a flamenco dance performance."

2. Culture Icon: His official title is "Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya." He doesn't stop there. Qaddafi has also awarded himself the title "King of Culture." Why? Maybe it's his colorful costumes, from mustard yellow to royal purple. Personally, I think it's got to be the massive black pin of the African continent that he sports sometimes. Now that's bling.

3. Camping out: Qaddafi prefers to sleep in a tent, and he once pitched it in Paris in the garden of the Hotel Marigny, a guest mansion close to the Élysée Palace. According to WikiLeaks, the tent is his "traditional site for receiving visitors and conducting meetings, as it offers him a non-verbal way of communicating that he is a man close to his cultural roots."

But it's no easy task for Libyan officials to find accommodation that will be spacious enough for the tent. On Qaddafi's 2009 visit to New York for a UN General Assembly meeting, he was unable to convince officials to let him pitch a tent in Central Park or in the town of Englewood, N.J.. He eventually gave up and slept in the official Libyan mission. Poor fella.

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