Tuesday, March 22, 2011

22-Mar-11: What is it about Venezuela?

When the UN sat, on November 27, 1947, to consider its views about the creation of a Jewish and an Arab state to take the place of the expiring British mandate in Palestine, Venezuela voted in favor of the creation of Israel. It soon established diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. And when General Assembly Resolution 3379 was passed at the UN on November 10, 1975 determining Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination, Venezuela abstained.
Then Hugo Chávez became president, and a torrent of slurs and accusations against Israel ensued. It continues till today. This began with the Venezuelan leader calling Israel a Nazi state "only worse" and declaring Israel guilty of "Adolf Hitler-style, unjustified aggression" for striking back at Hezbollah forces in Lebanon who were shelling northern Israel.
An op ed by Roger Noriega ("Is there a Chavez terror network on America’s doorstep?") in Sunday's Washington Post reveals how Venezuela, deeply engaged in a strategic alliance with the Ayatollahs of Iran, has moved way beyond mere insulting language.
On Aug. 22, 2010, at Iran’s suggestion, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hosted senior leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in a secret summit at military intelligence headquarters at the Fuerte Tiuna compound in southern Caracas. Among those present were Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah, who is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists; Hamas’s “supreme leader,” Khaled Meshal; and Hezbollah’s “chief of operations,” whose identity is a closely guarded secret. The idea for this summit sprang from a meeting between Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Ahmad Mousavi, and his Venezuelan counterpart, Imad Saab Saab, at the Venezuelan embassy in Damascus on May 10, 2010. According to the report received by Venezuela’s foreign minister, the two envoys were discussing a meeting between their presidents and Hezbollah’s leader, Hasan Nasrallah, when the Iranian suggested that the three meet Chavez in Caracas. That these infamous criminals left their traditional havens demonstrates their confidence in Chavez and their determination to cultivate a terror network on America’s doorstep. 
Chávez is closely aligned as well with Libya's beleaguered Colonel Qaddafi. The two have visited each other several times and bestowed national honors upon one another. The Venezuelan presented a replica of independence hero Simon Bolivar’s sword to Qaddafi during a 2009 visit to Caracas.
If only the problems with Venezuela's terrorist leanings were about sword replicas.

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