secure freedom blog

december 9 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Should Venezuela be listed as a State Sponsor of Terrorism?

For several years, SFS has actively researched the linkages between Venezuelan government officials and international terrorism. On June 4, 2014, our first policy report, Canada on Guard: Assessing the Immigration Security Threat of Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba, revealed a criminal-terrorist pipeline sending funds and drugs from Latin America to the Middle East and bringing back foreign fighters and potential Islamic terrorists. This report identified specific Venezuelan government officials who developed an illicit financial network functioning as a service provider for Islamic militants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In particular, the report mentions at least 173 individuals from the aforementioned countries receiving either passports, visa’s, or national ID cards from the Venezuelan government.

America’s columnist, Mary O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal highlighted the findings of our report and this criminal-terrorist pipeline in one of her weekly column’s titled The Iran-Cuba-Venezuela Nexus. As did journalist Helen Aguirre Ferre of The Miami Herald in her editorial Jihad in our Hemisphere and Antonio Maria Delgado from their Spanish counterpart El Nuevo Herald in Venezuela, trampolîn del Hezbolá hacia America del Norte.

More recently, a Venezuelan diplomatic officer formerly stationed in Iraq, Misael López Soto, affirmed that this criminal-terrorist pipeline is still operational through an explosive declaration made on YouTube accompanied by supporting documentation and a report by the CICPC (Venezuela’s largest national police agency, responsible for criminal investigations and forensic services). Beyond the countries identified in our research, Mr. Lopez Soto added Pakistan and the Palestinean territories and confirmed that at least one individual is a member of Lebanese Hezbollah.

You can see Mr. Lopez Soto declaration (in Spanish) below or read an English translation and transcript of his declaration. Supporting documentation for his claim can be found on this website of Venezuela journalist Andreína Flores.

This compelling evidence raises the question as to whether the current Venezuelan regime should be designated as a country that sponsor’s terrorism per the U.S. State Department. Executive Director Joseph Humire argues as to why this question should be taken seriously by U.S. government officials during a recent congressional briefing organized by the Center for Security Policy’s Menges Hemispheric Security Project on October 29, 2015. See the video of Mr. Humire’s remarks below:

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