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Venezuela has a long history of democracy and friendship with the United States, yet under authoritarian populist President Hugo Chávez it has established itself as a major opponent of U.S. policies and interests in the Americas and around the world. Under Chávez, Venezuela has provided covert assistance to Colombian narco-terrorists and Basque separatists and maintains friendly relations with Islamist terrorists, such as Hezbollah.
Given national limitations, Chávez continues to build a network of anti-American alliances. Russian-Venezuelan military and energy cooperation continues to expand. Venezuela’s burgeoning alliance with Iran poses a destabilizing threat to stability with the willingness to align with the Ayatollahs in Iran’s nuclear weapons quest. Finally, terrorist-supporting Syria is striving to acquire nuclear technology and modern missile systems from Iran, Russia and North Korea and, in the process, has increased its cooperation with Chavez’s Venezuela. Despite these and many other troubling signs, President Obama continues to minimize the nature of the threat posed by VIRUS.
Join us as our panel of experts examines recent trends in U.S.-Venezuelan relations and the Iran-Russia-Venezuela nexus and reviews ways for the U.S. to address these emerging threats.
More About the Speakers
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow, Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy, The Heritage Foundation
Ambassador Roger Noriega
Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Ray Walser, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation
Senior Fellow, National Security Affairs