To Preserve Iran Deal, Obama Stopped Probe into Venezuela’s Ties to Hezbollah: Report

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 11, 2017, 4:00 pm
Venezuela's Ties to Hezbollah
The Obama administration reportedly decided not to interfere with the US’ international agreement with Tehran, ordering that an investigation stop looking into what ties the Venezuelan government had with islamic terrorism. (Twitter)

EspañolFormer President Barack Obama stopped an investigation into links between Iran, Venezuela and the terrorist organization Hezbollah, the Spanish newspaper ABC reported this Tuesday, July 11.

The Obama administration reportedly decided not to interfere with an international agreement with officials in Tehran, ordering that an investigation stop looking into what ties the Venezuelan government had with Islamic terrorism.

US expert and adviser David Asher spoke to ABC about the topic. He worked for John Allen, Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS. Asher said Obama “systematically dismantled any stakeholder action that threatened to derail the political agenda of the Iran-focused administration.”

According to Asher, senior security officers working with cases linked to Hezbollah, Iran and Venezuela were reassigned, and told to abandon their investigative units.

ABC reported that the abandoned investigations had to do with financial information demonstrating a connection between Venezuela and Iran. Additionally, various documents reportedly showed that the extremist group Hezbollah was laundering money obtained through drug smuggling sponsored by Venezuelan officials.

“Obama not only prioritized the agreement with Iran, but also wanted to protect his other big project: opening relations with Cuba,” an anonymous source told ABC. “He was soft with (Venezuela President Nicolás) Maduro, so he would not disturb the Cubans.”

The investigations reportedly began again when Donald Trump — who reversed many of Obama’s policies on Cuba — took office. Since that time, the investigation has resulted in sanctions against Vice President Tareck El Aissami for working with Hezbollah in Venezuela.

Source: ABC 

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Tension over Ecuadorian Border Wall Rises as Peru Summons Ambassador

By: Karina Martín - Jul 11, 2017, 3:53 pm

Español Peru and Ecuador are in a diplomatic crisis following the construction of a controversial border wall between the two countries. During the initial announcement of the construction plan, Peru expressed its disapproval, citing international violations the project would commit, but Ecuador continued with the project. Now, relations have worsened following Peru's decision to summon Ambassador to Ecuador Hugo Otero back to the country. The wall was built as part of Linear Park on the right bank of the The Zarumilla River. During the initial announcement about the project, Peru’s Foreign Ministry said the construction could raise the risk of flooding in the border city of Aguas Verdes. Additionally, Peru claimed the wall — which is four-yards high — could violate the 1998 Bases Agreement, which requires 10 open yards on the right river bank, as well as a path to that strip of land. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said it "regrets" Peru's decision to pull their ambassador based only on Ecuador's refusal to stop the wall construction being carried out in the area. Ecuador officials reiterated their willingness to hold a meeting this week between foreign ministers that will address the border wall and other issues related to the Zarumilla River. Read More: Ecuador’s Unannounced Border Wall Angers Peruvian Officials Read More: The Economic Drive of Mara Gangs in Central America’s Northern Triangle   "Ecuador believes that dialogue is the valid mechanism for overcoming any divergence between sister countries," the Foreign Ministry's statement said. "So it reiterates its willingness and openness to address these issues immediately." The structure had an initial extension of 2,000 yards, but Ecuador officials said it will now only be 800 in total. Sources: El Comercio; La República; Gestión.

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