Wednesday, September 27th | 12 Tishri 5784

September 18, 2019 8:55 am

Freedom for Venezuela Is a US and Moral Imperative

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avatar by Joseph Frager /


Soldiers and people react to the sound of gunfire near the Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda Airbase ‘La Carlota’ in Caracas, Venezuela April 30, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins.

JNS.orgVenezuela is in crisis. Although the Trump administration has recognized Juan Guaidó as acting president of Venezuela, despot and dictator Nicolas Maduro remains in power.

US support of Guaidó was one of former national security advisor John Bolton’s chief initiatives, one we must hope that Donald Trump will continue. It is in the interests of the free world to make sure we get to the finish line on this vital mission.

While there have been some positive developments, like the Citgo oil and gas company being taken over by forces aligned with Guaidó, for the most part, Maduro has been on the offensive, and has viciously attacked the opposition. He controls the military. Anyone that speaks out is immediately jailed, as happened to Vice President Edgar Zambrano.

But there is hope. US sanctions, I am told by reliable sources, are working. These sanctions have hurt Maduro, just as sanctions have been hurting Venezuela’s chief sponsor, Iran. If Iran is removed from the equation, then Maduro falls. Unfortunately, until then, Venezuela will remain one of Iran’s prime proxies. Iran has sent money and weapons to Maduro to prop him up, but notwithstanding Iranian funding, Maduro has reportedly stolen $380 billion from the Venezuelan people.

Although the main base of the Iran-backed Shi’te terrorist organization Hezbollah outside its home base of Lebanon is along the “triple frontier” border of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, Hezbollah has a significant presence in Venezuela. The country acts as a conduit for Hezbollah to other parts of South America, and the terrorist organization has been helping Maduro’s military.

Iran is the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world today, and its actions in Venezuela speaks volumes.

Venezuela is salvageable. America can win this one. Sanctions are working, both on Iran and Venezuela. It is certain that Bolton will keep working from the sidelines on this and other matters vital to America’s and the world’s interests. I have faith in President Trump and his administration that they will help set Venezuela free.

Dr. Joseph Frager is 1st Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel.

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