Tuesday, January 10, 2012

International Relations: Connie Mack - "This is What Happens When You Coddle Dictators"

SOURCE Office of Congressman Connie Mack

Despite only verbal warnings from the State Department to avoid close ties with Iran, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez welcomed Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Caracas over the weekend where a grinning Hugo Chavez stated, "A spokesman or spokeswoman in Washington from the State Department or the White House said it was not convenient for any country to get close to Iran. Well, the truth is, it made you laugh."

Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Congressman Connie Mack (FL-14), responding to the visit by the Iranian dictator, stated, "Time and again this Administration has taken too lightly the threat of Hugo Chavez and his emerging alliance with other thugocrats like Ahmadinejad. President Obama jokes about visiting Chavez and high fives him, and Secretary of State Clinton engages Chavez while their liberal buddy Joe Kennedy gets paid by Chavez to mount a PR campaign in America. Hugo Chavez has been in direct violation of UN sanctions prohibiting the shipment of fuel to Iran; while welcoming the building of Iranian missile sites in Venezuela, missiles aimed at the U.S. A visit from Ahmadinejad is just the beginning of what could be a nightmare for the U.S. unless this Administration gets serious about the destabilizing threat of Hugo Chavez in our region."

Also over this past weekend Hugo Chavez named General Henry Rangel Silva, a U.S. Treasury designated drug kingpin, as the new Defense Minister in Venezuela. Rangel, a former intelligence chief, said in late 2010 that the military wouldn't accept an opposition victory in the 2012 presidential election.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department officials announced on Sunday that Venezuelan consul general Livia Acosta Noguera has been expelled from her post in Miami. This comes after she had allegedly been tied to a group of Venezuelan and Iranian diplomats who expressed interest in an offer from a group of Mexican hackers to infiltrate the websites of the White House, the FBI, the Pentagon and U.S. nuclear plants.