Two weeks ago, when remarking sarcastically about the upcoming "requirement" for a US military presence in or around Venezuela where the situation is increasingly looking like a replay of events in Syria pitting the US and "western powers" on one said and Russia and China (and Turkey) on the other, we said that it's only a matter of time before ISIS made a dramatic appearance in Latin America.
Time for ISIS to make a dramatic appearance in Latin America— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 25, 2019
We thought we were joking.
It turns out the joke was on us, because - in an apparent failure to come up with an even remotely original narrative for another imminent American intervention - US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday night that, drumroll, "Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela." Well, we were wrong about ISIS at least.
As the Trump administration has continued to ratchet up pressure on the Latin American nation amid a crippling political and economic crisis, and hinted on several occasions that US troops would be deployed, Mike Pompeo told Fox Business that "people don’t recognize that Hezbollah has active cells” in the country, adding that "the Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America. We have an obligation to take down that risk for America" he said, quoted by the Independent.
Ironically or not, when it comes to Hezbollah, which the US has long considered a terrorist organisation, sanctions on people in Venezuela linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese group have been imposed as far back as the George W Bush administration, seemingly in anticipation for just such an event.
Washington also believes Latin America has served as a base of fund-gathering for the group for some years, including through drugs and money-laundering schemes, according to past reports and to justify said close link, the media notes that Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez formed tight links with Iran under Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s leadership. Supposedly that is a sufficient and necessary condition to conclude that Maduro is now harboring terrorists, which in turn would require a US "peacekeeping" mission.
And just so the US population does not lose plot, later in his Fox interview, the former CIA director described Maduro as "evil" and insisted the US was intervening on behalf of ordinary Venezuelans who have suffered under his rule.
In other words, yet another "humantiarian" coup under US auspices.
“We should not permit a country in our hemisphere to treat its own people this way,” he said, despite Washington’s – and the CIA’s – dismal track record of fomenting government overhauls in the region. "American values – America’s, not only our interests but our values – are at stake here."
It wasn't clear just which values he was referring to.