Venezuela/Iran: Biden says not to worry

As you all know, Hugo Chávez is in Cuba recovering from his latest cancer surgery or something. Investigating journalist Nelson Bocaranda is in trouble for covering Chavez’s illness. You can follow Bocaranda on Twitter @runrunesweb and @NelsonBocaranda.

Chávez is making a show of pretending to run things from Cuba as news on the disastrous state of Venezuela are pouring out:
WikiLeaks report cites corruption in Venezuela production
Corruption is stifling local production in favor of imports, according to a leaked report WikiLeaks.

The destruction of Venezuelan production in favor of imports is worsening the scarcity problem and creating corruption by those who want to obtain bigger contracts, says a report by the private intelligence firm Stratfor released by WikiLeaks.

The report, which covers part of the more than 5 million emails revealed by the online organization, indicates that officials of President Hugo Chávez’s administration involved in importing food stockpile products to justify new transactions.

According to the report, the loss of thousands of tons of food in ports can be attributed in part to corrupt officials’ practice of not releasing products acquired abroad.

After securing $2billion in Russian loans for armaments, now Chávez outlawed gun shops

Chavez isn’t long for this world. His apparatchiks know it and they appear to be clearing the decks to make it easier to handle any general unrest that could develop when the news finally comes that Pugsley’s assumed room temperature. It’s a lot easier mowing down a crowd of protestors when they’re not shooting back at you.

Tehran intends to build military drones in Washington’s backyard for the Venezuelan military led by Hugo Chavez.

While Joe Biden says that Iran will not be able to use alliances with Latin America to wield significant influence on security in the West, US Congressman Jeff Duncan is introducing legislation with 73 co-sponsors, seeking to

· Establish a strong U.S. posture, policy, and relationship with Latin American countries

· Protect U.S. interests and assets in the Western Hemisphere such as embassies, consulates, businesses, energy pipelines, and cultural organizations, including threats to U.S. allies

· Address the vital national security interests of the United States by ensuring that energy supplies from the Western Hemisphere are free from the influence of any foreign government that would attempt to manipulate or disrupt global energy markets

· Require a secure U.S. border with the U.S. working in coordination with the Governments of Mexico and Canada to prevent Iranian operatives from entering the U.S.

· Counter efforts by foreign persons, entities, and governments in the region to assist Iran in evading U.S. and international sanctions

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, pointed out that

This legislation requires the Secretary of State to use existing funds to create a tailored strategy to fight the aggressive activities of Iran and its proxies in the Western Hemisphere, thereby establishing a strong U.S. policy stance and protecting U.S. security interests.

A Panamanian site posted on FRAV – Venezuelan Communist Group – Making Inroads in Panama. The post’s author is skeptical of both the information and the timing of the report,

this “leaked” report is really nothing more than a “we’ve got our eyes on you” trial balloon, to let the Venezuelan recruiters who are operating here know that they are being watched and followed closely.

Another report, by journalist Lázaro González, states that Cuba is mobilizing armed forces go to to Venezuela in the event of Chávez’s death, or Chávez is defeated in the upcoming election. González ends his report by stating that “this information must be verified by US intelligence sources.” In that case, I take it with a grain of salt but will not dismiss it. Cuba is economically dependent on Chavez – not on Venezuela itself, on Chávez himself.

And, at least according to Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, who was in Cuba visiting Hugo, Fidel and Raul, Hugo’s going back to Venezuela next week.


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