Chavez and His Latin American Comrades Support Ahmadinejad

[Weekly Standard] Jaime Daremblum - Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez applauded the Iranian president's "very big and important [election] victory." Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega sent Ahmadinejad a congratulatory note that began with "Beloved Brother Ahmadinejad." Tehran has established partnerships with both Chavez and Ortega, and has also signed lucrative energy agreements with Bolivia. There is credible evidence that Hizbullah may now be using Venezuela as a base for operations. Under the Ortega government, Iran has opened a massive new embassy in Managua. As journalist Todd Bensman reported in 2008, there have been "local press reports accusing the Iranians of sneaking in Revolutionary Guards under diplomatic cover." Meanwhile, Tehran is helping to bankroll a deep-water port on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. The writer is director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the Hudson Institute.

2009-06-26 06:00:00

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