Venezuela: Another Reason Why Cuba Remains a State-Sponsor of Terrorism

Friday, February 21, 2014
In last year's American Enterprise Institute (AEI) policy brief (in "The American") on why Cuba should remain on the State Department's "state-sponsors of terrorism" list, we'd stated:

"[T]housands of Cuban soldiers and intelligence officials are stationed in Venezuela. Cuba’s presence and control over the highest levels of Venezuela’s military, police, and intelligence services not only threatens to subvert democracy in that nation, but it allows those Venezuelan authorities to be Cuba’s proxies in trafficking drugs and weapons, and in providing support to such extremist organizations as Hezbollah and Iran’s al-Quds."

One of the reasons cited for Cuba's original designation to the list in 1982 was the Castro regime's promotion of indiscriminate violence and repression in the Western Hemisphere by armed groups that it trains, supports and advises.

Here's what happened last night in Venezuela, courtesy of such armed groups.

From the Caracas Chronicle:

"Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign. What we saw were not 'street clashes', what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents."

Additionally, there have been reports that Castro's elite combat forces, known as "Las Avispas Negras" ("The Black Hornets") have arrived in Venezuela to infiltrate, disrupt and repress student protesters.

Old habits die hard for the Castro brothers.