HEZBOLLAH in Venezuela: Chávez joins the terrorists on his path to martyrdom
By Gustavo Coronel and Venezuelatoday.net
September 1, 2006 | On the Venezuelan side of the Guajira Peninsula, a territory shared with Colombia, the members of the tribe of the Wayuu walk across political boundaries without restrain. They were there before Venezuela and Colombia existed and they think of themselves as a nation. Recently a disturbing group has appeared, as alien visitors, in their desert landscape: Hezbollah. The Islamic fanatics of Hezbollah are rapidly infiltrating the tribe of the Wayuu. They are indoctrinating the members of this tribe, to convert them into Islamic fanatics in charge of disseminating the terrorist message that has already created chaos, death and misery in the Middle East. The Hezbollah group invading Venezuela is doing its work openly in the Venezuelan side of the Guajira Peninsula. They are disseminating, via Internet, a strategy "to change Venezuela," including:
Total destruction "of the sex industry" (whatever that means),
Attacking the upper classes, "who are the most corrupt," all white collar criminals and continuing the cleaning downwards,
Attacking corruption in government (not such a bad idea) and in the masses, both civilians and military,
Attacking false idols and satanic cults, as defined by them.
The logo adorning the main page and document is an AK-47 rifle. The propaganda appearing on the Web presence of the Venezuelan subsidiary of Hezbollah [hosted by Microsoft] talks about installing the kingdom of God in Venezuela by imposing a military-theocratic type of government, an explosive mixture similar to what already exists in Iran. It claims: "The brief enjoyment of life on earth is selfish. The other life is better for those who follow Allah." Where have we heard this before? In the leaflets that encourage the suicide missions of children and teenagers in Palestine.
Is the Venezuelan Hezbollah for real or is just the product of pranksters with a macabre sense of humor? Available photographs suggest they are for real. This ghoulish presence in Venezuelan territory certainly deserves an immediate investigation and decisive action, if true, to eradicate such a horrible pest from our country. The problem is that Chávez is supporting Hezbollah in the Middle East and will most probably support their criminal work in Venezuela. Would the U.N. or the OAS take note?
Venezuela is deteriorating to the point of no return
The social and political situation in Venezuela has reached the point in which major action will be required by civilized Venezuelans and their friends, if the country is to be saved from falling irreversibly into the hands of the fanatic and uncultured Chávez's gang. Those who are following the Venezuelan situation in detail can see clearly how Venezuelan society is dissolving, turning into a work of horror, something out of Edgar Allan Poe's House of Usher or of H.P. Lovecraft's most morbid fiction.
In the domestic scene Democracy and Human Rights have been roughly and impudently pushed aside, replaced by the abuses of a group of Neanderthal-like bureaucrats moved by social and racial hate. The Mayor of Caracas, a man by the name of Juan Barreto recently exploded out of control on TV, insulting his colleagues in a Stalinist-type of demonstration that left viewers horrified. A few days later this man went on to issue a decree "expropriating" the golf courses of the two main Caracas private clubs, in order "to build houses for the poor," as if these golf courses were the only available land left in the country for housing. These are just two examples of how the regime is behaving. The exercise of government, in Chávez's Venezuela, has been converted in a competition among gangsters, to see who are the most corrupt, the most uncivilized and the most destructive.
While these gangsters roam at will in a country that has become a tropical version of Gotham City, Hugo Chávez is touring the world looking for allies in his quest to create an anti-U.S. coalition. President Bush has said that he "does not consider Chávez as a threat" ("Chávez's War of Words," By Jackson Diehl, The Washington Post, August 7, 2006). In this article Diehl reports in detail the attempts Chávez is making at creating the alliance but dismisses these attempts simply as a "war of words."
I would not be so sure. Chávez has been under estimated for some time now. He is generally perceived as an uncultured clown, as a person with unrealistic dreams of grandeur and as a wasteful political leader with an obsolete ideology. This is all true but Hugo Chávez is also a very dangerous man, with a big bag of money and a deep inferiority complex rooted in social and racial components. I think he is willing to do anything to leave an imprint in history, no matter what, how or when. This is a scenario that has to be taken into account if very unpleasant surprises for the national security of the western hemisphere are to be avoided.
Today, Hugo Chávez is openly siding with North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, four rogue, terrorist states. By creating a Mission Manager post for Cuba and Venezuela, something only previously done for Iran and North Korea, the U.S. government is finally assigning the Castro-Chavez axis the priority it deserves. This is a move that has both flattered and worried Chávez. Therefore he has decided to accelerate his efforts to create a global coalition against the U.S.
The three Chávez strategies
In order to do this he is conducting a three-pronged strategy: (1), one, rather orthodox, which consists in buying weapons, some US$5 billion worth, from Russia, Spain and Belarus: multi-role fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships, assault rifles and more from Russia; corvettes and patrol boats from Spain; and Russian anti-aircraft missile sytems from Belarus in order to dissuade U.S. military action. (2), an oil-oriented strategy, basically designed to threaten the U.S. with less petroleum supplies. He is selling CITGO's assets in the U.S. at low prices, in order to protect himself from the freezing of oil assets in the U.S. He is trying to enlist China as a replacement client for the U.S. by promising that country, quite unrealistically, 500,000 barrels of oil per day within the next five years. The Chinese know that this is an empty promise but they will try to get as much oil as they can out of Chávez, for as long as he lasts, while laughing secretly about his flamboyant behavior. As a follow up to this strategy he is also talking to Iran about pushing for higher prices within OPEC and encouraging, through promises of money, relatively minor international oil players like the dictator of Chad, the Bolivian president Evo Morales and the Ecuadorian government to become more aggressive against the mostly U.S. foreign multinationals. The visit of Chávez to Angola should be seen as an obvious move to attack U.S. vulnerability on oil imports. Angola produces over one million barrels of oil per day of excellent quality and almost 600,000 barrels per day are exported to the U.S. Any restrictions on this supply, if combined with restrictions of Venezuelan oil supplies, would have a dramatic impact on the U.S. economy, especially when reinforced by other actions such as the recent move against the U.S. petroleum companies by the dictator of Chad.
The strategies mentioned above are, of course, very damaging to the Venezuelan people but, while particularly harmful to U.S. national interest, they do not pose an immediate large-scale threat of all-out violence in the hemisphere. There is a third strategy being pursued by Chávez that could become the most dangerous in this respect. It has to do with the possible acquisition of weapons of mass destruction from North Korea and the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons from Iran and other weapons from Syria. Chávez or his deputies have visited Iran about half a dozen times during the last seven years. He has explicitly formed a political alliance with Ahmadinejad. During his last visit he asked for God "to throw bolts at the monsters," ending this request by saying: "Inshallah," (ojalá in Spanish, God willing in English). Of course, in Chávez's mind these bolts would be missiles or, even worse, nuclear bombs. The National Council of Resistance of Iran has said that Iran will be able to start constructing nuclear bombs by next year, in installations located to the northeast of Teheran. A report by Rowan Scarborough in The Washington Times (August 31, 2006) says that the U.S. military estimates that an Iranian nuclear bomb is still five years away but, he adds, it would be dangerous to believe that there is plenty of time to act. In the case of Iraq, he says, it was found that the Hussein regime was much closer to producing nuclear weapons than the U.S. had estimated and the same could be true in the case of Iran. Nuclear weapons are essential for the consolidation of an Islamic empire, claims the National Council of Resistance of Iran, asking for immediate action against the regime of Ahmadinejad.
Will Chávez replay the Cuban missile crisis of the 1960's?
One thing has become evident: the Chávez regime is going to play an important role in the Iranian nuclear power play, probably similar to the role played by Castro during the Cuba missile crisis of the 1960's. Chávez's rhetoric is now one with his deeds. He probably estimates that there is no additional risk in coming out of the totalitarian closet and probably much to be gained in the hearts and minds of the Islamic world. This open posture of Chávez in alliance with the terrorist regimes of the world has been further confirmed by his visit to Syria, where he openly placed his regime firmly in alliance with the regime of Bashar al-Asad. In Syria he probably was briefed on the performance of the weapons given by the Syrians to Hezbollah in Lebanon, with a view to obtaining some of those weapons for the Venezuelan arsenal. The most effective weapons used by Hezbollah against the Israeli army were the RPG-29 Vampir with a tandem HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) warhead and, specially, the Kornet-E laser guided anti-tank missile (Kommersant, August 23, 2006 and The Washington Times, August 25, 2006, report by Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough). Both of these weapons are Russian-made and were exported to Syria, eventually finding their way to Lebanon. Together with Iran, Syria has become the main supplier of weapons to Hezbollah. Recently the U.S. government froze the U.S. assets of two Syrian generals, Ikthiyar and Jama'a, due to their open support of the Hezbollah in Lebanon. If the Hezbollah are, as they seem to be, openly present in Venezuelan territory, the freezing of assets of Venezuelan bureaucrats by the U.S. might not be far behind.
It is not difficult to see that, once the three strategies being developed by Chávez are put together, they constitute an increasingly dangerous threat to hemispheric and, even, world stability.
Chavez will probably disappear "not with a bang but a whimper"
If and when the U.S. moves militarily against the Iranian regime, a parallel move against Venezuela (and Cuba) would seem inevitable, as Chávez would immediately cut off petroleum supplies to the U.S. I have no doubt that Chávez is wishing for this to happen, as it constitutes his only chance to become a significant historical figure, one shrouded in martyrdom. Otherwise, his ineptness and buffoonery will condemn him to disappear in the manner predicted by T.S. Elliot for the end of the world: "Not with a bang but a whimper."