Home inContext Venezuela’s Vice President Tied to Iran and Hezbollah

Venezuela’s Vice President Tied to Iran and Hezbollah

Eric Rozenman

Venezuela’s newly-appointed vice president “has been accused of anti-Semitism and ties to Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah,” according to a report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Tareck El Aissami, an interior minister under the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, is “reportedly a known entity by U.S. intelligence,” the JTA said. He “allegedly is part of a Venezuela’s state drug-trafficking network and has ties to Iran, Syria” and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah (the Iranian-backed “Party of God”), the agency added (“New Venezuelan vice president accused of anti-Semitism, ties to Iran and Hezbollah.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Latin American representative, Ariel Gelblung, claimed the new vice president has been implicated not only in drug trafficking but also has “relations with the Colombian terrorist FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia-People’s Army]” and “has inherited Chavez’s hatred of Israel and Jews and can now pursue [Chavez’s successor, President Nicholas] Maduro’s anti-Semitism, further threatening Jewish lives in Venezuela.”

Wiesenthal Center director Shimon Samuels said Aissami has been described “as an intermediary between Iran and Argentina in the plan to camouflage Tehran’s complicity in the 1994 Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Center bombing, which killed 85 and injured 300.”

Chavez’s “socialist regime had ties to hardline Islamists,” JTA stated. Venezuela’s opposition “is calling for the ouster of the far-left Maduro, which would put El Aissami at the helm.”

The new vice president’s alleged involvement in the Chavez-Maduro governments’ reported drug trafficking was noted two years ago by the Wall Street Journal.