The Hezbollah terror organization slammed the U.S. on Wednesday for recognizing the Venezuelan opposition under Juan Guaidó as the legitimate government — though Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, is active there and throughout Latin America.
In a statement, Hezbollah reportedly condemned “blatant American intervention” and reiterated its support for the autocratic government of Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded strongman Hugo Chavez and has been crushing dissent.
Hezbollah issues statement condemning “blatant American intervention [in attempt] to destabilize Venezuela, and strongly condemns attempted coup against the country’s legitimate authority,” Maduro.https://t.co/xtqFLNLjPA
— David Daoud (@DavidADaoud) January 24, 2019
Hezbollah has been active in the region for decades, and is deeply involved in the illicit drug trade as well as terror. The Miami Herald noted last year that Hezbollah’s involvement in Latin America began with a deadly terror attack:
Hezbollah’s growth in the West began on March 17, 1992, when a suicide bomber smashed an explosives-filled car into the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding 242 in the first major international terrorist attack in the Western Hemisphere. On July 18, 1994, another car crashed into the Jewish Center of AMIA, the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina, also in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring hundreds — the deadliest terrorist attack ever in Latin America. Iran and Hezbollah were linked to both attacks.
Since then, Hezbollah has expanded its operations into Venezuela, as well as a “subregion of South America known as the Tri-Border Area (TBA), at the crossroads of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay,” The Hill noted recently. Iran, which backs Hezbollah in Lebanon and throughout the world, has used the group to expand its global influence.
Last year, Politico published an in-depth exposé about how President Barack Obama deliberately ignored Hezbollah in Latin America because he did not want to jeopardize a potential nuclear deal with Iran. Obama even dismantled a program that traced Hezbollah’s operations in Latin America to terror financing and trafficking in drugs and arms.
The Trump administration has reversed that policy and taken the fight to Hezbollah — and to Iran. Iran’s proxy has depended on the Maduro regime to maintain its foothold in Venezuela, even as that country’s once-rich economy has failed and its democracy destroyed.
And yet, according to Hezbollah, the Americans are the imperialists.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.