Latin America experts are warning about the growing threat from Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, citing new evidence of Chavez’s expanding ties with Iran and Hezbollah and other terrorist groups.
The Venezuelan president also has demonstrated his willingness to buy elections throughout the hemisphere to empower enemies of the United States, several experts said in presentations Thursday during a conference that the Center for Security Policy sponsored on Capitol Hill.
“Today, Venezuela airports are being freely used by drug cartels to export drugs to Europe and the United States,” said Luis Fleischman, senior adviser for the center’s Menges Hemispheric Security Project. “Chavez has helped the FARC fight against Colombia, [while] Hezbollah cells have increased their fund-raising and other activities in the area.”
What’s more, Fleischman said, “Young Venezuelans are being trained in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon . . . and Venezuela has reportedly produced uranium for Iran.”
Because of the close ties between Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “there is a real possibility” that Chavez could get a nuclear weapon from Iran after Iran acquires that capability itself, he said.
This is not news to long-time readers of this blog. What is news is that US policy seems totally oblivious.
hat tip: Gates of Vienna
Barreling on, regardless – In case you wonder how this article is related to this post, allow me to remind you that Chavez has direct flights from Caracas to Iran and Syria.