The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sounded the warning alarm today about increased Syrian activity in the Western Hemisphere.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) noted that nearly a year after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “Tour of Tyrants” trip to Latin America, the Syrian regime sent their deputy foreign minister to meet with the regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Ecuador.
“One state sponsor of terrorism after another continues to receive the royal treatment from these tyrants of Latin America,” she said. “It is appalling, but not surprising, that these leftist pariah governments openly embrace violent rogue nations that support extremism worldwide.”
Ros-Lehtinen sees it as an effort for flailing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to win support for his largely shunned regime.
“The increased Iranian and Syrian activity in our own backyard poses a clear and growing threat to U.S. and regional security interests. These rogue states have seized the opportunity to create a platform to disseminate and legitimize their belligerent actions in order to further their cruel political agendas and oppress their own people,” she said.
“Chavez and his autocratic cohorts like Ortega, Correa, and the Castro brothers have seen fit to provide the Syrian and Iranian dictatorships with a lifeline to skirt sanctions while thumbing their noses at the U.S. and the rest of the world,” Ros-Lehtinen added. “It is essential that the U.S. impose stricter sanctions to tighten the noose around these sadistic tyrants and sanction any entity that continues to provide support to these designated state sponsors of terrorism.”
The Syrian envoy, Faisal Al Mokdad, received words of support from the Latin American regimes as Assad has killed some 40,000 civilians.