“People don’t recognise that Hezbollah has active cells” in the country, Mike Pompeo told Fox Business. “The Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America. We have an obligation to take down that risk for America.”
The US has long considered the Iranian-backed Lebanese group a terrorist organisation, and sanctions on people in Venezuela linked to Hezbollah have been imposed as far back as the George W Bush administration.
Later in his Fox interview former CIA director Mr Pompeo described Mr Maduro as “evil” and insisted the US was intervening on behalf of ordinary Venezuelans who have suffered under his rule.
“We should not permit a country in our hemisphere to treat its own people this way,” he said, despite Washington’s – and the CIA’s – inglorious record in the region. “American values – America’s, not only our interests but our values – are at stake here.”
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