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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Apr 12th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid
Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid PDF Print E-mail
Written by Washington Times   
Saturday, 21 June 2008


Chavez refutes US Hezbollah charges

Chavez refutes US Hezbollah charges
Originally published 01:49 a.m., June 21, 2008, updated 01:46 a.m., June 21, 2008

President Hugo Chavez says the United States is trying to bring him before an international court.

Chavez says the United States is using accusations that the Venezuelan government is supporting the Lebanese group Hezbollah to "see if the world will make a move" against him.

The U.S. has charged a Venezuelan official and others with helping Hezbollah. Washington considers the armed group and political party in Lebanon a terrorist organization.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday that it has frozen the accounts of two Venezuelans: Diplomat Nasr al Din and Lebanese-born businessman Fazwi Kan'an.

Kan'an, who owns a travel agency in Caracas, called the accusations "pure lies."

Chavez spoke out against the accusations on Friday.



Venezuela rebuffs US on Hezbollah aid
Originally published 11:35 p.m., June 19, 2008, updated 11:34 p.m., June 19, 2008

Venezuela's foreign minister on Thursday rejected U.S. government accusations that a Venezuelan diplomat helped finance Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro did not specifically refer to Ghazi Nasr al Din, who was targeted Wednesday in a U.S. Treasury Department action ordering any assets he controls in the United States to be frozen and forbidding U.S. citizens from doing business with him.

But Maduro told reporters that "there are no terrorists here," and said officials should be going after the assets of President Bush.

"If they want to search for terrorists, look for them in the White House," he said.

Washington considers the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah a terrorist group and has no dealings with it. Hezbollah is both an armed group and a political party in Lebanon.

Wednesday's action accuses Nasr al Din of using his position as a diplomat and a leader of a Caracas-based Shiite Islamic center to help the group. There were conflicting reports from the United States and Venezuela over whether he was stationed in Lebanon or Syria.

The main Shiite Muslim center in Caracas is the Imam al Hadi Venezuelan Islamic Center, said Mohamad Mtayrek, a 42-year-old Lebanese immigrant who helps manage the small mosque and community center in a two-story house.

Mtayrek said the center has no link to Hezbollah and dismissed Washington's allegations as "politics." He said he knows Nasr al Din but declined to speak about him, saying "it's not my business."

The Treasury action also targeted Lebanese-born businessman Fawzi Kan'an, the owner of two Caracas-based travel agencies. Kan'an called allegations that he helped finance Hezbollah "pure lies."

Venezuela has a large Lebanese population, many of them immigrants who arrived long before President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999.

Associated Press writers Ian James and Fabiola Sanchez contributed to this report from Caracas, Venezuela.




Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 June 2008 )
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