A US Treasury Department report issued on Monday revealed close ties between the regime of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Lebanese terrorist militia and parliamentary faction Hizballah.
According to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, Chavez has for years been helping Hizballah raise and launder money in his country.
Contacts between Caracas and Hizballah have been handled by Lebanese-Venezuelan diplomat Ghazi Nasr al-Din. During his time as a senior diplomat at the Venezuelan embassy in Damascus, Nasr al-Din is said to have brought two leading Hizballah officials to Venezuela to raise funds and to establish an Islamic community center in the South American nation.
Another leading Venezuelan businessman of Arab descent, Fawzi Kanan, was also involved in the affair, and is even accused of helping Hizballah plan kidnappings and other terror attacks, according to the Washington Times.
Both Nasr al-Din and Kanan have had all US-based assets frozen and are banned from doing business in the US or with US citizens.