Venezuela as a bridge for terrorist groups
JUNE 11, 2008 – Noted Venezuelan journalist Patricia Poleo, now living in Miami, has revealed in her column in “El Nuevo Pais,” that Venezuela is currently recruiting its youth for training by Hezbollah.
The following article was translated from the Spanish text by Fausta Wertz.
Via Noticias 24 journalist Patricia Poleo reports that Venezuelans of Arab ancestry are being recruited under the auspices of Tarek el Ayssami, Venezuela’s vice-Minister of the Interior, for combat training in Hezbollah camps in South Lebanon.
Tarek el Ayssami, Venezuela’s vice-Minister of the Interior, along with others affiliated with Hezbollah, such as Lebanon-born Gahzi Nasserddine currently the Business Liaison at the Venezuelan embassy in Damascus, along with his brother Ghasan Atef Salameh Nasserddine, are in charge of recruiting young Venezuelan Arabs affiliated to the PSUV [Chavez’s own Venezuelan Socialist Party], to be sent to South Lebanon for combat training in Hezbollah camps.
The purpose of the training is for preparing the youths for asymmetrical war against the United States.
Once back in Venezuela, the youths are welcomed by two members of the Islamic Center of Venezuela, who were previously involved in illegally bringing Hezbollah Lebanese through the area of Margarita with fake passports. During February 2002, one of these men brought a group of Hezbollah members who came from Brazil, from Margarita, and then sheltered at the Islamic Center in El Paraiso.
After returning from Lebanon, the Venezuelans meet with radical youths from the PSUV affiliated with UNEFA [the university run by the Armed Forces] and the Unversidad Bolivariana de Venezuela [Venezuelan Bolivarian University].
These groups and individuals are closely affiliated with the Hezbollah Organization in Venezuela, along with al-Qaeda Iraqis currently living in Venezuela. They are also related to the Palestinian Democratic Front, headed by Salid Ahmed Rahman, whose “official” office is located in Caracas’s Central Park.
In the training camps now located in Venezuela, they receive training in firearms, explosives and munitions provided by vice-Minister of the Interior Tarek el Ayssami.
The Venezuelan training camps are located in: Monagas state, Maturin district. Miranda state, Los Teques, at a location called El Jari. Trujillo state, El Paramo. Falcon state, Churuguara, Sierra de San Luis. Yaracuy state, Yumare.
From the start of President Chavez’s government, terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda have used Venezuela as their bridge to other Latin American countries since Venezuela is an allied government . . .
The original Spanish text of Poleo’s article can be read at http://www.noticias24.com
Ed Note: Patricia Poleo has reported on the many abuses by Hugo Chávez. Ms. Poleo has received the coveted “Rey de España Journalism Award,” the highest honour given to a Latin American journalist. She fled Venezuela in 2005 and now resides in Miami.
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