Venezuela's New Vice President Has Ties to Iran, Hizbullah

(Business Insider) Linette Lopez - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez, announced Wednesday that former minister Tareck El Aissami would become vice president of the country. If Maduro is ousted, as his opposition is calling for, El Aissami will become president. El Aissami is known to U.S. intelligence as part of Venezuela's state drug-trafficking network and has ties to Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah. The Brazilian paper Veja reported that when he was interior minister under Chavez, El Aissami participated in a clandestine program to provide Venezuelan passports to terrorists in Damascus. Joseph Humire, coauthor of Iran's Strategic Penetration in Latin America, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last year: "El Aissami developed a sophisticated, multi-layered financial network that functions as a criminal-terrorist pipeline bringing militant Islamists into Venezuela and surrounding countries, and sending illicit funds and drugs from Latin America to the Middle East."

2017-01-09 00:00:00

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