Venezuela, Iran, USA and Narco-Terrorism

by Susan Warner
October 13, 2016

Amidst the unspeakable economic distress facing residents of Venezuela today, security experts have identified yet another major cause for concern emanating from this once prosperous, oil-rich nation: Iran is moving in, partnering with Venezuela’s prosperous drug traders and creating a foothold there, as well as in other “friendly” Latin American countries. Iran is laundering money in Latin America and presumably secretly plotting to accomplish a strategic long-term goal to penetrate the Western hemisphere.

Iran’s terrorist activities, its partnership with Venezuelan drug traffickers and the general criminal atmosphere affects the citizens of Caracas so much that people reportedly are fearful of even going to the store to wait in the endless lines for food.

In Venezuela, security analysts say, the corruption starts at the very top with President Nicolas Maduro himself, who is looking frantically for money in every crevasse to keep the nation and his presidency afloat. Reports estimate that in Venezuela one police officer dies every day and the number of homicides per capita in Caracas is the highest in the world.

National crime statistics, however, seem to be just the start: deeper and more alarming than the Venezuelan homicide toll, there appears to be an imminent threat to the entire Western hemisphere from partnerships between Venezuelan drug traffickers and terrorist networks like Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that act a proxies for Iran.

Together, terrorism and illegal drugs represent a significant export for Venezuela. Iran and Venezuela partner together to move terrorist cells and drugs to hubs in the United States and throughout North America.

This alliance has already come to the attention of the House Sub-Committee on the Middle East and North Africa; in 2015, Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen headed a hearing entitled, “Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere.”

“Drug trafficking funds terrorism,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “The need for a comprehensive strategy must address this fundamental cause of the problem.”

“Recent reports of the connections between Hezbollah and the FARC [Colombia]; the murder of the special prosecutor of Argentina, Alberto Nisman, and the alleged conspiracy between the Argentine Government, Venezuela and Iran to cover up Hezbollah’s activities and involvement in the AMIA [Jewish Community Center] bombing do nothing to quell doubts about Iran’s activities in Latin America.”

Through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Iran is spreading its roots through legitimate enterprise “laundries” throughout Latin America.

Iran has set up banking entities, embassies, cultural centers and business enterprises, through which it is building an infrastructure to advance expansionist strategies.

Vanessa Neumann wrote in 2011:

“Besides its sponsored terrorist groups, Iran also has a growing direct influence in Latin America, spurred by three principal motivations: 1) a quest for uranium, 2) a quest for gasoline, 3) a quest for a base of operations that is close to the US territory, in order to position itself to resist diplomatic and possible military pressure, possibly by setting up a missile base within striking distance of the mainland US, as the Soviets did in the Cuban Missile Crisis”
Read more here: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9073/venezuela-iran-narco-terrorism