Hezbollah Supports ‘Drug Kingpin’ to Replace Venezuelan President
Venezuela is on the verge of civil war. A growing number of military officers are breaking ranks with President Nicolás Maduro and taking up arms. On Sunday, a group of men in military uniform invaded Fort Paramacay, took more than 90 AK-103 rifles, and announced an insurgency. Maduro congratulated his armed forces for beating back this uprising, but hundreds have taken to the streets in protest against the government.
In a pre-taped video, the men who invaded Fort Paramacay demanded a return to Venezuela’s previous constitutional order and called for President Maduro to step down.
Calls for a transitional government have been made by Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas, vice president of the Venezuelan Bishops Conference, and by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. Yet the Venezuelan Bishops Conference supports the opposition against Venezuela’s socialist government, while Hezbollah only supports a change of face to keep Venezuela’s socialist government alive. The Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat and the Al-Manar television network report that Hezbollah leaders view Vice President Tareck El Aissami as the best politician to keep the Chavismo movement intact.
“Sources within the Arab community close to Nicolás Maduro’s regime are reportedly looking into making a change of face for the Chavismo movement, with Tareck El-Aissami at the helm,” wrote Sabrina Martín for the PanAm Post. “Sectors in Venezuela affiliated with El-Aissami reportedly collaborated with Syria in preparing a report broadcast on the Al-Manar television channel in Lebanon. It called El-Aissami ‘a strongman in the shadows and a close friend of the Lebanese resistance and the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.’”
Tareck El Aissami has been the vice president since January. He has been linked to the cocaine-trafficking outlet Cartel de los Soles and been accused of issuing passports to hundreds of Hezbollah operatives between 2008 and 2012.
“Hezbollah now operates a multimillion-dollar drug-trafficking business in Venezuela with the collaboration of farc [the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] and Mexican cartels,” wrote Martin Rodil for Forbes. “It has also built one of the world’s most sophisticated networks to transfer funds and money launder from Latin America to the Middle East, with the ongoing facilitation of Venezuela.”
While former United States President Barack Obama halted investigations into links between Venezuela and Hezbollah as part of his nuclear deal with Iran, that did not stop the collusion between drug traffickers and terrorists. Not only does such collusion represent a serious threat to the stability of Venezuela, it represents a serious threat to the stability of the United States. The unholy alliance between Islamic terrorists, Latin American cartel agents and U.S. street gangs is perhaps America’s most serious domestic security threat.