Hezb’allah’s role in the Mexico-USA drug and weapon smuggling empire
One of the muted consequences of Biden’s open border policy is the smuggling into America of huge amounts of lethal drugs. An estimated 100,000 Americans died -- it would be more accurate to say were killed – last year due to the import of dangerous drugs.
A year into his presidency Biden and his Vice President Harris have done nothing to stop the traffic. It is known that Hezb’allah, the Iranian Lebanese proxy, is deeply involved in the North American continent’s drug trade. It is a massive source of income for them to fund their terror activities against Israel.
According to an Atlantic Council report of October 7, 2020, with the cooperation of Maduro, Hezb’allah has established a base in Venezuela to spread its crime-terror network across South and Central America.
Despite US Department of Justice narco-terrorism indictments against Maduro, Hezb’allah grows its tentacles throughout Latin America. It works tightly with Mexican cartels right up to the United States border.
Matthew Levitt, director of the Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute and an expert on Hezb’allah’s global connections, has documented how U.S. authorities believed that Hezb’allah helped the Sinaloa cartel build smuggling tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border, drawing on expertise from the group’s work digging tunnels under the Lebanese-Israeli border. U.S. officials believe Hezb’allah has provided expertise to the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for cash.
Hezb'allah ("The Party of Allah") flag
Despite US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions, Hezb’allah still operates its drug and weapon smuggling operations from Central America into the heartland of the United States.
We are reminded that in October 2018, the US Justice Department named Hezb’allah, alongside three major Mexican cartels and the Central American gang MS-13, as transnational criminal organizations.
Despite this, little has been done to blunt their operations.
An air bridge exists between Caracas, Tehran, Beirut, and Damascus. One must assume that a lot of the travel is for nefarious activities. Even though Syria has been a bloody warzone for years, an estimated 300,000 Venezuelans live in a city called As-Suwayda in southwestern Syria (“little Venezuela”), many of them dual-nationals.
One must ask why, although Venezuela is in an economic meltdown, so many Venezuelans want to live in Syria.
It was recently announced that Iran has struck a deal with the Assad Government to build 500,000 houses a year in Syria. One can assume that the area of As-Suwayda will benefit as an Iranian center of permanent influence on that country.
The Iranian Syrian nexus leads to South and Central America and into the United States. For what purpose?
Examine the raison d’etre of Hezb’allah and you have your answer.
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.