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Venezuelan Ties to Hezbollah

14/08/2008 | by Database Desk  
In June of 2008 the United States government accused two Venezuelan men, both of Lebanese decent, of maintaining ties with the terrorist organization Hezbollah[1]. This is not the first time government officials and citizens of Venezuela have been found to engage in business with militants, nor is it likely to be the last. The Lebanese population has been a part of the Venezuelan community for almost three decades; and, accordingly, Hezbollah cells have become embedded within the society as well[2]. But, according to documents produced by the United States' government and statements issued by former Venezuelan officials, it has been under the government of President Hugo Chavez that the terrorist organization has truly thrived, and it is under his authority that Hezbollah has begun to pose an even larger threat to the Western world[3]. 

The Lebanese population had become a large part of Venezuelan society by the time Chavez came to power in 1999[4]. According to a 2002 report released by the U.S. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State, radical Islam has become prominent throughout the Latin American region, and Venezuela, specifically Margarita Island, has become a focal point for the Arab population[5]. Evidence shows that the Venezuelan president and his government actively aid militants, specifically in the acquisition of illegal documents; these documents make it possible, and especially easy, for terrorists and terror organizations to thrive in the region[6]. Chavez's maintains a strong relationship with several state sponsors of terror, or countries that support terror organizations[7]. Consequently, Hezbollah cells and members have been located on the peninsula which Colombia and Venezuela both share, Guajira[8]. 

The Arab Population and Terrorist Activity on the Guajira Peninsula

Easy access to false identification makes this region highly attractive to militants. In Colombia, Hezbollah has not been found to be one of the main actors especially when compared to the activity of cells which exist in the tri-border region. However, according to data provided by the U.S. Library of Congress, Hezbollah is prominent in the small village Maicao. Maicao is located on the border with Venezuela in the Guajira peninsula. There, Islamists control 70 percent of commerce; the orthodox Islamic community numbers 4,670 out of 58,000 total residents; but 8,000 people are of Arab decent; of the Sunni and Shi’ite members of the community the Shi’ite most regularly aligns itself with radical Islamic thought. Studies by U.S. officials show that Maicao is also a popular tourist spot for other orthodox Islamics. Many residents donate 10 percent, sometimes even 30 percent of their incomes to Hezbollah. Similar to the findings of the INSIGHT report, money is then sent through banks in Maracaibo, Venezuela and Panama; personal deliveries by emissaries also exist, a U.S. source reported to O Globo according to the Library of Congress report. Maracaibo is a city in the Venezuelan piece of the peninsula.[9]

The Arab population in Maicao has the capacity fuel its own education system, businesses and cultural institutions. Maicao is also the free trade capital of the La Guajira Department. And, regardless of the fact that the city is infamously known for its black market and money laundering, it has little interference from lawmakers and law enforcers. One of the few incidences came when a radio broadcaster was accused of issuing Hezbollah propaganda on 15 August 1997. Since the community straddles the border, the heavy involvement in the black market and money laundering inevitably flows over the border into the Zulia State of Venezuela. U.S. Government studies have shown that money laundering, which originates with the narcotrafficking in the region, is used to hide funds used to fund terrorist activity across the globe.[10]

Similar to the border-city of Maicao, Venezuela’s Margarita Island is a popular tourist spot for orthodox Islamists. Eighty percent of businesses on Margarita Island are owned by the Arab population on the Island.[11] In that past several years, many of these businesses and business owners have been found to have ties to illicit activities, money laundering, and the BMPE.[12] In 2003, an analyst visiting the island described it as a “‘fortress’ with armed guards outside.”[13] Margarita Island seems to be the center of a "terrorist financial network stretching throughout the Caribbean to Panama and the Cayman Islands” the INSIGHT article reported. In August 2001, three Afghanis were caught upon their arrival in the Cayman Islands for traveling on fake Pakistani passports; they carried $200,000 in cash. According to British officials Arabs were behind money laundering efforts through Cayman banks, as well.[14] 

The BMPE is a process used by drug smugglers in Venezuela and Colombia as well as other Latin American states to clean drug money. Profits, in the form of U.S. dollars, from sales in the United States are difficult to bring over the border; dollars are heavier than the drugs and once over the border extremely difficult to convert pesos once in the Latin American countries. Instead, peso brokers sell the dollars to Colombian businessmen, who purchase products from legitimate American companies and then sell the products for pesos. The pesos returned to the peso Broker are funneled back to the traffickers after a percentage is taken out by the broker.[15]

The report released by the U.S. Library of Congress maintains that profits received in this region are sent to fund acts of terrorism run by Hezbollah cells and other organizations such as Al-Qaeda. For example, the U.S. government studies found that funds from the 26 February 1993 terror attack came from terrorist cells that moved money through Colombia. One of the men believed to be a large financier, Mohamed Ali Farhad of Syrian-Lebanese decent, was a part of a cigarette trade which included his clan, which he allegedly heads, and another worth $650 million. Farhad, a shareholder of a casino on Margarita Island and the owner of an American textiles store there, has sent many large checks to fund terrorist organizations, namely Hezbollah. Farhad has also been tied to the Mansur Free Zone Trading Company N.V., which is based in Netherlands Antilles. According to the U.S. authorities, the Mansur clan came into the forefront of the illicit drug trade when it inherited the narcotrafficking territories run by the Cosa Nostra's Cuntrera-Caruana clan, when it began to work in with the Cali Cartel in Venezuela. Another man accused of terrorist activity, “‘Sinforoso Caballero,’” ran the Border Business Group and Cabadi Investments from March to October 1993, the report stated. The business was allegedly used to move the funds of the two Arab clans that are based in Maicao.[16] A strategy report released by the U.S. Department of State International Narcotics Control (INCSR) in March 1997 cited “‘Sinforoso Caballero’” as a money laundering organization of which 35 members were arrested in October of 1993. Due to judicial corruption, the INCSR stated, the case got “bounced” around to several courts, was dismissed by the Tachira judge it finally resided with in May 1994 and was reopened the following December; by the close of 1996 the case remained undecided.[17] “Caballero,” himself, was arrested in 1997 the Library of Congress reported.[18]

Nasser Mohammed al-Din, a close friend of Chavez and "powerful entrepreneur," is another member of the Arab population on Margarita Island. He was listed in the report withheld from the U.S. and given to INSIGHT by intelligence sources. Chavez has been found to pay frequent visits and often stays at Mohammad al-Din's on the Island. According to presidential pilot Major Juan Diaz Castillo, his home was the site of the bi- and tri-weekly visits with Cuban President Fidel Castro as recently as 2003.[19]

Combating Terrorist Activity

At the turn of the century, the Library of Congress report cited, the Venezuelan intelligence made attempts to put a stop to the terrorist activity. In 1996, an operation run by the DISIP discovered a 15-person cell living in the tourist center of Margarita Island was identified; one, Yousset Farhat, was believed to be a local clan member. In 1997, suspected Hezbollah members, Wahid Mugnie and Ali Makke, were arrested by DISIP. In October 2001, bank accounts in Zulia State were investigated by the Judicial Technical Police of Venezuela (PTJ) and the International Police (Interpol). Large sums of money and equally large transfers were found in the accounts believed to be held by terrorist organization members and supporters. After the attacks on 11 September 2001, three men of Lebanese decent, with reported residences in Maicao, but believed to be living elsewhere in the La Guajira Department, were placed on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorists.[20] 

As the businesses on Margarita Island and in Maicao exemplify, legitimate companies are often used as a disguise to funnel money to illegal organizations, particularly Hezbollah[21]. When a DISIP agent acted undercover with a Lebanese group he found the organization funded Hezbollah through local businesses in areas like Margarita and on Baralt Avenue in Caracas, an October 2006 El Nacional reported.[22] The two travel agencies owned and operated by Fawzi Kan’an which were named in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s (DOT) press release on 18 June 2008 are both found on Baralt Avenue. Biblos Travel Agency and Hilal Travel Agency, according to the U.S. government are both used to “courier funds to Lebanon.”[23]

The Biblos Travel Agency also known as Biblios Travel, Biblos Travel CA, Biblos Travel, C.A., is located at Avenida Baralt, Esquina Madero Edifico Santa Isabel II, PB, Loc. 1 Caracas, Venezuela.[24] The AP reported the Venezuela-based agency was owned and operated by Kan’an until a year ago, 2007, when Kan’an shut it down.[25] The press release from the DOT did not state that the agency had been closed; it reported that the travel agency was actively used as a front to send money to Lebanon.[26]

The Hilal Travel Agency, which opened in April 2001, is also based in Venezuela. It is also known as Hilal Travel C.A. and located at Avenida Baralt, Esquina Madero, Edifico Santa Isabel, Caracas, Venezuela, business identification number, 80074366.[27] According to the AP report on 19 June 2008, Kan’an was in the process of closing this agency, too, when they interviewed him.[28] In an earlier AP article on 18 June 2008, Kan’an, whom reporters reached at a number listed for Biblos Travel Agency, was said to have stated in the phone interview that both agencies had been closed for one year.[29] Kan’an plans to open a new travel agency and claims that the closing of Biblos and Hilal is in no way related to U.S. allegations.[30]

In addition to the businesses, the United States Department of Treasury named two Venezuelans accused of having ties with Hezbollah.[31] Ghazi Nasr al Din and Fawzi Kan'an were found to have been involved with terrorist training, conspiracies and fundraising within Venezuela, Lebanon and Iran.[32] The men are allegedly links between the Venezuelan government and Hezbollah in Lebanon.[33]

Ghazi Nasr Al Din is a Venezuelan Diplomat and President of the Shi'a Islamic Center in Caracas. He was born 13 December 1962 in Lebanon. His Venezuelan Identification number is 18.190.527; his Venezuelan passport number is B-047256.[34]

Nasr al Din has, according to the DOT, used these positions to provide financing to Hezbollah leaders and operatives.[35] Mohamad Mtayrek, a Lebanese immigrant to Venezuela and one of the managers of the Imam al Hadi Venezuelan Islamic Center, the largest Shiite Muslim center in Caracas, stated the Center had no ties to Hezbollah. Though he knows him, Mtayrek would not comment on Nasr al Din specifically.[36] 

Before Nasr al Din became a Venezuelan Diplomat to Lebanon he was Charge d' Affaires at the Venezuelan Embassy in Damascus, Syria. In the Venezuelan Embassy in Lebanon he serves as the Director of Political Aspects.[37] The Associated Press reported that there was some confusion as to whether Nasr al Din’s was currently stationed in Syria or Lebanon, though the DOT document lists, clearly, that he is currently stationed in Lebanon.[38] 

Nasr al Din's interactions with and activities on behalf of Hezbollah largely includes soliciting finances from Hezbollah supporters, specifically within Venezuela. According to the DOT report Nasr al Din has provided donors with information on effective fundraising methods and the proper bank accounts established for depositing the fundraised and donated money directly into the hands of Hezbollah. In January 2006, Nasr al Din brought two Hezbollah lawmakers from the Lebanese Parliament to Caracas to enhance fundraising efforts and, also, to publicize the establishment of a Hezbollah-funded community center and office within Venezuela.[39]

U.S. authorities reported that Nasr al Din also aided in the travel preparations to send Hezbollah operatives to participate in a training camp in Iran.[40] According to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in 2005, Nasr al Din organized a trip of Hezbollah members to Iran, where he supposedly organized a group.[41]

His aliases include: Haj Ghazi Nasseredine, Ghazi Nassereddine, Gazi Nasseridine, Gazi Nasser El-Din, Ghazil Nasser Al-Din, Haj Ghazzi Nassereddine, Ghassan Attef Salame Nasserddine, Ghassan Nasr El Din Ghassan, Ghazi Nasserddine, Ghazi `Atef Nasraldine, Atef Salameh Nasserdine Ghasan, and Hajj Ghazi `Atif Nasr al-Din.[42]

Fawzi Kan’an, born in Lebanon, is a naturalized Venezuelan citizen as of 16 December 1977; the AP reported that he moved to Venezuela in 1986 in an attempt to escape the fighting.[43] His naturalization number is 2108, his passport number is 0877677 and his identification number is V-6.919.272. The documentation provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury lists three birthplaces: Lebanon, Baalbeck, Lebanon and Betechelida, Lebanon. The document listed three birthdates as well; 7 June 1943, February 1943 and 1 June 1943, respectively. According to the DOT, Kan’an is the owner of two residences in Caracas, Venezuela: Calle 2, Residencias Cosmos, Fifth Floor, Apartment 5D, La Urbina Caracas, Venezuela and Esquina Bucare, Building 703, Second Floor, Apartment 20, Caracas, Venezuela.[44] 

The DOT cited Kan’an as a major financier of Hezbollah. He sent large sums of money to Hezbollah in Lebanon from his fundraising efforts and donations received in Venezuela. Kan’an also frequently aided in the travel of Hezbollah members, and has traveled, himself, to Lebanon to meet with ranking Hezbollah members to “discuss operational issues” and to train in Iran with other Hezbollah operatives.[45]

Kan’an has denied all allegations and ties to Hezbollah.[46] In an interview with the Associated Press, he stated he did not “know the group, [did not] know anyone.”[47] He stated that he did not have any assets within U.S. jurisdiction, nor had he ever traveled to Iran. During the interview he answered phone calls in Arabic.[48] He also told the AP that he does not work anymore.[49]

He is also known as: Fazi Canaan, Faouzi Can'an, Fouzi Kanan, Fauzi Kanaan, Fauzi Ganan and Maustaf Fawzi (Faouzi) Kanaan.[50]

U.S.-Venezuelan Relations

Strained relations which have existed between the United States and Venezuela were exacerbated by the accusations put forth by the U.S. government on 18 June 2008. The Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the DOT, Adam J. Szubin, criticized the Venezuelan government for “providing safe harbor” to Hezbollah operatives.[51] Officials from both the DOT and Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that an in-depth inter-agency process, involving the State Department as well, occurred before any actions against the Venezuelan men were taken. The DOJ failed to comment on whether a criminal investigation has begun or would begin.[52]

On Thursday, 19 June 2001, Venezuelan officials denied U.S. allegations. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro stated that there were no terrorists in Venezuela; “‘if they want to search for terrorists, look for them in the White House,’ he said.”[53] Venezuelan Minister of Communication Andrés Izarra stated that none of the U.S. government's accusations warranted investigation.[54] Particularly, since no formal complaint came from Lebanon; and, since Hezbollah currently holds the majority in the Lebanese legislature none have been expected to follow.[55] 

On Friday, 20 June 2008 President Chavez accused the U.S. of bringing the allegations against the Venezuelan men in an attempt to bring himself before the international court; the U.S. made the accusations to “‘see if the world will make a move,’” the AP quoted.[56] According to statements issued by Izzara, the Venezuelan government finds Hezbollah to be a legitimate party in Lebanon. This, in return, has given the American government more reason to make accusations that Venezuela provides Hezbollah members refuge an El Universal article stated.[57]

The Venezuelan government's definition of terrorism states that terrorism is an act against innocent civilians; it does not include accidental casualties. According to the Venezuelan media, the attacks from Hezbollah in the past 80 years against the American and French military headquarters in Beirut have been "asymmetric" acts of war.[58] The article published on 19 June 2008 in El Universal complained of the "stupid" manner in which the American government treats other nationalities, including diplomats it specified. The article added that Hezbollah intended to speak out on the matter, but no date was given.[59] Roy Daza, the president of the Commission of the Political Exterior of the National Assembly in Venezuela, stated that the accusation against the two Venezuelans was a vain attempt to destabilize the government of President Chávez and isolate the Venezuelan state. He accused the United States government of attacking that of Venezuela, customarily, from time to time.[60] 

Venezuelan Government Officials Have Ties to Terrorism

In addition to the illegal operations of many Venezuelan government agencies and offices, such as the falsification of documents, Nasr al Din's alleged ties to Hezbollah are not the first to be uncovered and declared by the United States. Tarek William Saab Halabi, a member of MVR and formerly the National Assembly deputy, currently serves as the governor of the Venezuelan state Anzoátegui; he won 57% of the vote in 2004. His election, according to MVR party members, was corrupt; the nominated candidates were “handpicked” and “‘protected by (MVR leaders) Tarek William Saab and Freddy Bernal’” they claimed.[61] Two years earlier Saab was refused entry into the United States for suspected ties to international terror groups.[62] “Terror Threat from Venezuela: Al Qaeda Involved,” published 27 December 2002 cited that Bernal had been caught by U.N. forces in an attempt to smuggle weapons from Iraq to Saudi Arabia.[63] Also, Saab and Abdel Elsabayar, both of Arab decent, were accused of aiding in the release of three men suspected to be behind the 1994 bombings in Argentina. The study conducted by Tel Aviv University found that three men arrived in Venezuela, on Margarita Island, from Colombia in November 1999; they were released following their arrest on 7 July 2002.[64] A letter from Chavez to the terrorist trainer, El Chacal (the jackal), provides evidence of his personal ties to terrorists an 24 June 2008 El Universal article reported. The letter discovered was addressed to his fellow countryman or "'distinguido compatriota'" and concluded with "con profunda fe en la causa y en la misión, ¡por ahora y para siempre!," meaning "with profound faith in the cause and in the mission, for now and forever!"[65]

Venezuela's Ties to State Sponsors of Terror

Ties between Venezuela and Lebanon and states that sponsor terror such as Syria and Iran have only increased since the summer of 2006 U.S. officials have reported.[66] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has strengthened his country’s ties to Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua as well. Venezuela remains his closest and most important ally in the region; they have formed the “Axis of Unity” against the United States.[67] A report released by the Nine/Eleven Finding Answers (NEFA) organization on 1 April 2008 found that as the leader of a state sponsor of terrorism and because of his direct link to Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad’s relationship with Chavez poses a direct threat to the United States.[68] The DOT cites that the Iranian government has provided weaponry, monetary resources and training facilities for Hezbollah operatives in Lebanon; the same is occurring in Venezuela.[69] 

Similar to the sentiment in Lebanon, Chavez is extremely popular in Iran, too, studies have shown. An article published 17 March 2008 by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) stated that the American government does not focus enough on the threat that has been developing in Latin America as a result of the relationships between these states. Though Hezbollah has been present in Latin America for over a decade, AEI reported, only under the leadership of Ahmadinejad has there been a “sustained effort” to establish relations in Latin America; specifically an anti-American bloc. Funding for his efforts has been plentiful; millions of dollars have been spent.[70]

Beyond meetings, public forums and rallies, such as frequent television appearances of Iranian officials in Venezuela, Ahmadinejad and Chavez have cemented the relationship between their two countries with direct flights, economic relations and a banking system.[71] As of 12 July 2007, when Global Research announced that Venezuela and Iran were to invest $4 billion in a new oil project, 33 bilateral energy accords had already been signed between the two governments.[72] Two Iranian factories opened in Caracas in June 2007.[73] In March of 2007 the first plane on the airline between Tehran and Caracas landed at its stopover, Damascus, Syria.[74] The state controlled airlines, Conviasa of Venezuela and Iran Air of Iran planned to run weekly flights between the two nations with Damascus stopover.[75] The Iranian ambassador to Venezuela stated that the flights would serve to strengthen the relations between the countries’ governments and citizens; according to the statement issued there are many families scattered between Iran, Syria and Venezuela.[76] Chavez “‘is much loved in our country and our people want to come here to get to know this land’” the Ambassador Abdullah Zifan reported when the flight plans were announced in February 2007.[77] 

Most recently, Fars News Agency released an article on 23 June 2008 which announced the Venezuelan and Iranian governments' plans to establish a joint bank. This announcement came in conjunction with a claim by the Venezuelan Planning and Development Minister Haiman El Troudi that the two countries will have 30 industrial projects running by the close of 2008. According to the plans, the bank, based in Tehran, will have $1.2 million to begin with used to finance projects in “infrastructure, housing and technology.” The Fars News Agency reported that some political observers found it “much interesting that just as Tehran and Caracas announced the new deal, the US has started making new charges about Hezbollah activity in Venezuela.”[78] 

Conclusion

The charges made most recently are not without evidence. President Chavez has proven time and again that he actively supports terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.[79] The activities in places such as Margarita Island and the false identification papers found on militants attempting to cross the U.S. border only serve to substantiate these claims[80]. And, as he strengthens the ties between Venezuela and state sponsors of terror, he continues to reinforce these suspicions; all this is reason for great concern among citizens of the Western World[81].

Work Cited

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), “Iran's Global Ambition”, 17 March 2008. 

AP via The Seattle Times, “Anger and fear mix with empathy as world remembers Sept. 11”, 12 September 2006. 

AP via KansasCity.com, "Chavez refutes US Hezbollah charges", 21 June 2008.

AP via IHT “Lebanese Born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

Associated Press (AP) via Israel Insider, “Lebanese in Venezuela back Chavez's threat, Jewish groups express concern”, 10 August 2006.

Associated Press (AP) via Miami Herald, “US targets Hezbollah links in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008.

Associated Press (AP) via Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid”, 19 June 2008.

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, “Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State”, March 1997.

CNN, “U.S.: Two Venezuelans are supporting terrorism” 18 June 2008

Fars News Agency (FNA), “Iran, Venezuela To Establish Joint Bank”, 23 June 2008. 

Fars News Agency (FNA), “Iran, Venezuela to Start Direct Flights”, 10 February 2007. 

Federal Observer, “MAKING THE CASE: For War Against Iraq”, 2003.

Global Researcher, “Venezuela, Iran to Invest $4 billion in Joint Oil Project in Orinoco

Belt”, 12 July 2007. 

GlobalSecurity.org, “US Says Latin American Terrorism Backed by Iran", 25 September 1995. 

The Guardian, “Profile: Imad Mughniyeh”, 13 February 2008. 

INSIGHT, “About Insight: About Insight Cutting-edge political intelligence from Washington”, 2008.

INSIGHT, “Chavez plans for terrorist regime: Venezuelan security officials say that President Hugo Chavez is plugging terrorist networks into the country's infrastructure, embracing jihadists and Castroites" 7 January 2003.

Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), “First Tehran-Caracas plane lands in Damascus,” 2 March 2007. 

Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002

Long War Journal, “US designates two Hezbollah operatives in Venezuela as terrorists”, 19 June 2008.

El Nacional, "Hezbolá niega que los venezolanos acusados por EE UU sean sus miembros," 19 June 2008.

El Nacional, “To Annihilate Criminals and the Corrupt,” 27 October 2006.

National Review Online (NRO),”Operation Syria”, 2 May 2003.

New York Times (NYT), “Venezuela and Iran Strengthen Ties With Caracas-to-Tehran Flight”, 3 March 2007. 

Nine/Eleven Finding Answers, “What the FARC Papers Show Us about Latin American Terrorism”, 1 April 2008.

OSC Report, “Highlights: Venezuela Crime and Narcotics Issues 17-21 Nov 06”, 22 November 2006. 

People’s Daily Online, “Latin American countries condemn Israeli brutal attack on Lebanon”, 31 July 2006.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), “The Black Market Peso Exchange" 19 April 2002.

Quinto Dia, “Lo que dijo US News que tanto indignó a Chávez What U.S. News said that both indignant Chavez” 10 October 2003. 

Tel Aviv University, “Venezuela 2002-3”, 2003. 

U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports on Terrorism”, 28 April 2006. 

U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT), “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela” 18 June 2008.

El Universal, "Hezbolá niega que los dos venezolanos acusados por EEUU sean sus miembros," 19 June 2008.

El Universal, "EEUU acusa a diplomático venezolano de trabajar para hizbula", 18 June 2008. 

El Universal, “In party election to designate candidates to local polls Chávez' MVR members report electoral fraud”, 12 April 2005. 

El Universal, "Líbano no ha protestado al diplomático señalado," 20 June 2008.

El Universal, "Roy Daza: Acusaciones que vinculan a venezolanos con el Hezbolá pretenden aislar al país", 22 June 2008.

El Universal, “Tarek Saab solicitará reunión a embajador de Estados Unidos”, 3 October 2002.

El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá," 24 June 2008.

Venezuelanalysis.com, “Popular Participation Forum Holds Caracas 9-11 Peace March”, 12 September 2006. 

Venezuelanalysis.com, “Venezuela Launches New Social Program for Poor Children”, 17 June 2008. 

Venezuelanalysis.com, “Voices of Lebanese Refugees in Venezuela’s Embassy”, 17 August 2006. 

Washington Post, “Hezbollah Chief Defiant at Huge Rally”, 23 September 2006. 

Washington Post, “U.S. ties Caracas to Hezbollah aid,” 7 July 2008. 

World Net Daily, “Venezuelan IDs help terrorist enter U.S.”, 26 October 2006. 

World-Check, “If you finance the Taliban, Al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the FARC, expect a designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism”, 30 March 2008. 



Notes:

[1] U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT), “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008. 

[2] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[3] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002 and INSIGHT, “Chavez plans for terrorist regime: Venezuelan security officials say that President Hugo Chavez is plugging terrorist networks into the country's infrastructure, embracing jihadists and Castroites", 7 January 2003.

[4] AP via IHT “Lebanese Born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

[5] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[6] World Net Daily, “Venezuelan IDs help terrorist enter U.S.”, 26 October 2006. 

[7] Nine/Eleven Finding Answers, “What the FARC Papers Show Us about Latin American Terrorism”, 1 April 2008 and American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), “Iran's Global Ambition”, 17 March 2008

[8] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[9] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Quinto Dia, “Lo que dijo US News que tanto indignó a Chávez What U.S. News said that both indignant Chavez”, 10 October 2003. 

[14] INSIGHT, “Chavez plans for terrorist regime: Venezuelan security officials say that President Hugo Chavez is plugging terrorist networks into the country's infrastructure, embracing jihadists and Castroites", 7 January 2003.

[15] Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), “The Black Market Peso Exchange", 19 April 2002.

[16] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[17] Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, “Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State”, March 1997.

[18] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[19] INSIGHT, “Chavez plans for terrorist regime: Venezuelan security officials say that President Hugo Chavez is plugging terrorist networks into the country's infrastructure, embracing jihadists and Castroites", 7 January 2003.

[20] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002.

[21] Ibid.

[22] El Nacional, “To Annihilate Criminals and the Corrupt,” 27 October 2006.

[23] U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT), “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008. 



[24] Ibid.

[25] Associated Press (AP) via International Herald Tribune (IHT) “Lebanese-born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

[26] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela” 18 June 2008. 

[27] Ibid.

[28] Associated Press (AP) via International Herald Tribune (IHT) “Lebanese-born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

[29] Associated Press (AP) via Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid”,19 June 2008.

[30] Associated Press (AP) via International Herald Tribune (IHT) “Lebanese-born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

[31] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008. 

[32] Ibid and El Universal, "Hezbolá niega que los dos venezolanos acusados por EEUU sean sus miembros," 19 June 2008.

[33] Washington Post, “U.S. ties Caracas to Hezbollah aid”, 7 July 2008.

[34] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008. 

[35] Ibid.

[36] Associated Press (AP) via Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid”, 19 June 2008.

[37] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008 and El Nacional, "Hezbolá niega que los venezolanos acusados por EE UU sean sus miembros", 19 June 2008.

[38] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008 and Associated Press (AP) via Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid”, 19 June 2008.

[39] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008 and El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá," 24 June 2008.

[40] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008

[41] El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá", 24 June 2008.

[42] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008

[43] Ibid and Associated Press (AP) via International Herald Tribune (IHT) “Lebanese-born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

[44] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008

[45] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”,18 June 2008 and El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá", 24 June 2008.

[46] Associated Press (AP) via Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid”, 19 June 2008.

[47] Associated Press (AP) via International Herald Tribune (IHT), “Lebanese-born businessman living in Venezuela denies helping finance Hezbollah”, 19 June 2008.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Associated Press (AP) via Miami Herald, “US targets Hezbollah links in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008.

[50] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela”, 18 June 2008 and El Nacional, "Hezbolá niega que los venezolanos acusados por EE UU sean sus miembros", 19 June 2008.

[51] DOT, “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela” 18 June 2008

[52] CNN, “U.S.: Two Venezuelans are supporting terrorism”, 18 June 2008

[53] Associated Press (AP) via Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid”, 19 June 2008 and El Universal, "Líbano no ha protestado al diplomático señalado", 20 June 2008.

[54] El Nacional, "Hezbolá niega que los venezolanos acusados por EE UU sean sus miembros", 19 June 2008.

[55] El Nacional, "Hezbolá niega que los venezolanos acusados por EE UU sean sus miembros", 19 June 2008 and El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá", 24 June 2008.

[56] AP via KansasCity.com, "Chavez refutes US Hezbollah charges", 21 June 2008 and El Universal, "Roy Daza: Acusaciones que vinculan a venezolanos con el Hezbolá pretenden aislar al país", 22 June 2008.

[57] El Universal, "EEUU acusa a diplomático venezolano de trabajar para hizbula", 18 June 2008. 

[58] El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá", 24 June 2008.

[59] El Universal, "Hezbolá niega que los dos venezolanos acusados por EEUU sean sus miembros", 19 June 2008.

[60] El Universal, "Roy Daza: Acusaciones que vinculan a venezolanos con el Hezbolá pretenden aislar al país", 22 June 2008.

[61] El Universal, “In party election to designate candidates to local polls Chávez' MVR members report electoral fraud”, 12 April 2005. 

[62] El Universal, “Tarek Saab solicitará reunión a embajador de Estados Unidos”, 3 October 2002.

[63] Federal Observer, “MAKING THE CASE: For War Against Iraq”, 2003.

[64] Tel Aviv University, “Venezuela 2002-3”, 2003. 

[65] El Universal, "Venezuela y Hezbolá", 24 June 2008.

[66] U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports on Terrorism”, 28 April 2006. 

[67] Nine/Eleven Finding Answers, “What the FARC Papers Show Us about Latin American Terrorism”, 1 April 2008 and American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), “Iran's Global Ambition”, 17 March 2008

[68] Nine/Eleven Finding Answers, “What the FARC Papers Show Us about Latin American Terrorism”, 1 April 2008

[69] U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT), “Treasury Targets Hezbollah in Venezuela” 18 June 2008. 

[70] American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), “Iran's Global Ambition”, 17 March 2008. 

[71] New York Times (NYT), “Venezuela and Iran Strengthen Ties With Caracas-to-Tehran Flight”, 3 March 2007. 

[72] Global Researcher, “Venezuela, Iran to Invest $4 billion in Joint Oil Project in Orinoco Belt”, 12 July 2007. 

[73] American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), “Iran's Global Ambition”, 17 March 2008. 

[74] Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), “First Tehran-Caracas plane lands in Damascus,” 2 March 2007. 

[75] New York Times (NYT), “Venezuela and Iran Strengthen Ties With Caracas-to-Tehran Flight”, 3 March 2007. 

[76] Fars News Agency (FNA), “Iran, Venezuela to Start Direct Flights”, 10 February 2007. 

[77] New York Times (NYT), “Venezuela and Iran Strengthen Ties With Caracas-to-Tehran Flight”, 3 March 2007. 

[78] Fars News Agency (FNA), “Iran, Venezuela To Establish Joint Bank”, 23 June 2008. 

[79] NSIGHT, “Chavez plans for terrorist regime: Venezuelan security officials say that President Hugo Chavez is plugging terrorist networks into the country's infrastructure, embracing jihadists and Castroites", 7 January 2003.

[80] Library of Congress, “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups”, May 2002 and World Net Daily, “Venezuelan IDs help terrorist enter U.S.”, 26 October 2006.

[81] American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), “Iran's Global Ambition”, 17 March 2008.