"The Hugo Chavez administration is clearly throwing down the gauntlet to the international community by drawing increasingly closer to states ranked as outlaws, such as Iran, Syria, Cuba and North Korea.
"With Iran, for example, it is strengthening its trade and political ties. For some time, the Iranians have been running a Fundatracto plant in Ciudad Bolivar, and there has been talk of a facility for assembling Iranian automobiles in Venezuela."
"This week, Sudeban Superintendent Trino Alcides Diaz announced that they were looking into the possibility of setting up a branch of the state-owned Banco Industrial de Venezuela in Tehran. That being the case, it would be no more than natural were the Iranian president to do Venezuela the honor of paying a visit this year.
"According to an unconfirmed rumor, collaboration by the Iranians could include the mining of uranium in the Amazon for subsequent shipment to Iran.
"It is speculated that this could be the true reason behind the expulsion of the New Tribes Mission. It is also thought that this could have been what motivated the dismantling of the National Guard's Regional Command 8 (CORE 8), based in the Amazon, halfway through last year.
"What is more, the Chavez administration is getting dangerously close to terrorist organizations such as the Islamic resistance group, Hamas, which is apparently also to visit Venezuela sometime this year. It is even forming an alliance with the Qatari television network, Al-Jazeera, which furthers Islamic ideals, to enter an agreement with Telesur to create a global television network.
"It can be assumed that these relations with the world's extremists and terrorists are why the Spaniards gave in to pressure from the United States and did not sell Venezuela the aircraft as originally planned, or why the Russians have not yet sent the first AK assault rifle, or why British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Venezuela to respect international rules. Could it be because of all this that the countries of the north have opposed Venezuela’s joining the U.N. Security Council?
"Perhaps the European Community and the United States are not overly concerned over the fact that Venezuelans are losing their democracy and their freedom, but what they are not going to tolerate is that the gates to Latin America be opened wide to the outlaw nations of the world because one of its countries, with enormous resources, is keeping dangerous company." ...