Expert: Chavez Threat to U.S. Growing

Thursday, 04 Feb 2010 04:39 PM

By Dan Weil

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatens U.S. security through his relationship with the terrorist group Hezbollah, says Luis Fleischman a professor at Florida Atlantic University.

“Chavez promotes a relationship with Hezbollah,” Fleischman told Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella. “Drug trafficking is going on across all of Central America. Chavez promotes this activity to destabilize countries friendly to the U.S.”

See Video: Foreign policy expert Luis Fleischman talks about the Venezuelan threat - Click Here Now

The more anarchy that Chavez creates, the more difficulty he poses to U.S. security, says the professor of political science and sociology.

“Hezbollah has relationships with drug trafficking cartels. The cartels know exactly how to bring the drugs into the southern border of the U.S. These routes have been used not only by Hezbollah, but also by Al Qaeda to penetrate the U.S.”

So the threat is imminent, Fleischman says. “If this situation doesn’t stop, the northern part of Latin America is going to end up in a situation similar to Afghanistan, where you don’t have state control over the territory.”

That means warlords connected to the drug business will be in control, he says. “Islamic groups can use those routes that drug cartels paved to enter the U.S. and do a lot of harm.”

As for the Chavez regime, it’s clearly illegitimate, having violated human rights, repressed freedom of the press and taken power in possibly corrupt elections.

“It’s a totalitarian state,” Fleischman said.

“There is chaos in the street. Politics is corrupt. People live in fear. The aggressive discourse of President Chavez: all this is very intimidating.”

He’s sparking frustration. “Chavez can create a second Cuba in Venezuela, but it will depend a lot on what the international community does,” Fleishman said. “Chavez may not have as much control of the military as Castro. There is discontent in the military.”

Chavez will clearly continue to rule as a dictator. While the regime is unstable, he can remain in power through violence and repression. “It’s up to the international community, namely us, to make sure he doesn’t do it,” Fleischman said.

See Video: Foreign policy expert Luis Fleischman talks about the Venezuelan threat - Click Here Now

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