State Sponsor of Terrorism Review for Venezuela is Long Overdue
A lot of folks in this town that are supposed to be in the know on such matters, dismiss the Iran-Venezuela connection. There is nothing to see here, move along, they try to say. This town is full of foreign policy Pucks. But there is not enough fairy dust to confuse people about it.
The Venezuelans and the Iranians have been cozy for some time. How deep is the relationship? People with high-level security clearances should know. But based on items in the public domain we can hazard a guess or two. Public information is scant, however, every now and then a nugget or two pops up on the ether.
Yesterday, for example, four South Floridians were charged with violating U.S. export control laws for shipping defense articles to Venezuela. According to the materials released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the four individuals were involved in a conspiracy to unlawfully export defense articles to the Venezuelan Air Force, including parts for F-16.
Today we learn that “Venezuela has transferred at least one F-16 fighter to Iran in an attempt to help it calibrate its air defenses, in preparation for a possible Israeli or U.S. strike on its nuclear facilities, reports Spanish newspaper ABC.”
Is there any connection between these two events? Who knows. But would be worth pursuing. There is enough out in the public domain to generate a review as to whether Venezuela should be listed as a state sponsor of terror. The problem is a very influential Venezuelan ex-pat community that does not want to see this happen because of business contacts with Venezuela. The other issue: the U.S. military still purchases petroleum from Venezuelans. There are other reasons but these are the two most important variables right now.
All of this needs to change. Soon.