Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution calling for assistance to Latin American governments combating terrorism. “We are deeply alarmed by recent reports detailing Hezbollah’s presence in the tri-border area,” said Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), referring to the region where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil meet.The resolution, introduced by Klein and Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), cites a Naval War College report alleging that the Lebanese terrorist group raises approximately $10 million a year from that vicinity. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed interest in Latin America. Earlier this year he held a conference on the relationship between the two regions.”Iran is a growing threat in its own neighborhood and in our neighborhood,” Klein said. “Now they are trying to convince countries in Latin America to go along with [their nuclear] program.”Though Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil have joined with the United States to combat terrorism, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is reaching out to Iran. “Coupled with his rapid militarization, pursuit of nuclear technologies and relentless broadside attacks on freedom in Venezuela, Chavez poses a real threat to the stability of the Western Hemisphere and indeed the word,” Mack said. The resolution includes a quote from Venezuela’s chief rabbi stating that the relationship between the Jewish community and the government is at its “worst in 40 years.” The resolution, introduced May 23, by Monday had garnered another 32 co-sponsors.
House eyes terror’s ties to Latin America