The U.S. Department of the Treasury yesterday issued a press release announcing the designation of two Venezuelan-based supporters of the terrorist group Hizballah. The Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that “[i]t is extremely troubling to see the Government of Venezuela employing and providing safe harbor to Hizballah facilitators and fundraisers. We will continue to expose the global nature of Hizballah’s terrorist support network, and we call on responsible governments worldwide to disrupt and dismantle this activity.”
At a minimum, Venezuela remains a safe haven for not only Hizballah, but other terrorist groups such as the FARC-People’s Army and other terrorist organizations. According to the most recent State Department Country Reports on Terrorism, the FARC has “continued tactical-level terrorist training and narcotrafficking activities, despite the ongoing military campaign against it, and launched several bombings against military targets in urban areas, including Bogota. The FARC has also targeted numerous rural outposts, infrastructure targets, and political adversaries in dozens of attacks, and continued kidnappings across Colombia.”
If there was ever a textbook example of a terror sanctuary under U.S. law in the Western Hemisphere, Venezuela would be it. You can read some more about it at a prior post, “Venezuela, Terror Sanctuary?”. For an in-depth look at Chavez’s terrorist ties, be sure to read “Chavez’s early Ties with the FARC and ELN” by Jose Noguera; posted at the Center for Security Policy, Menges Hemispheric Security Project.