Mack: "Obama Administration Has All the Proof They Need to Make Venezuela a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism'"

Jun 24, 2011, 16:36 ET from Office of Congressman Connie Mack

Chairman Mack Renews Call for Freedom Loving Americans to Boycott CITGO

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At today's hearing of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Chairman Connie Mack (FL-14) again called on the Obama Administration to cease their delaying of placing Venezuela on the "State Sponsor of Terrorism List." The hearing, "Venezuela's Sanction able Activity," was held to provide oversight of sanctions available for the State Department and Treasury Department to dissuade illicit activity in our Hemisphere. To date, the Obama Administration has underutilized these tools allowing ruthless dictator Hugo Chavez to profit from the drug trade, sell fuel to the Iranians, and transport terrorists around the world.

Mack stated, "The State Department said they would name Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism as well as enforce consequential sanctions on their state run oil company if they received proof that Venezuela is demonstrably sanctionable.  That proof was again presented to officials of the State and Treasury Department and further delay by the Obama Administration is unacceptable and will only continue to coddle Hugo Chavez." 

Chairman Mack reiterated Venezuela's repeated support for acts of international terrorism; including the sale of refined fuel to Iran and the actions of Ghazi Nasr al Din, a Venezuelan Diplomat, who was sanctioned by the Treasury Department for facilitating the transfer of funds to Hezbollah and escorted Hezbollah officials to and from Venezuela. Additionally, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) drew sanctions on several Venezuelan senior government officials, Hugo Carvajal Barrios, the Director of Military Intelligence, and Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva, General-in-Chief of the Venezuelan Armed Services, for materially assisting and supporting drug trafficking and terrorism activities by the revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). 

Mack added:  "If the Obama Administration continues to coddle Hugo Chavez and the threat he poses to our security, freedom loving Americans will take matters into their hands by not purchasing oil and gas from PDVSA, the Chavez run oil company which operates as CITGO in the U.S."

Participating witnesses attending  today's hearing included:  Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the U.S. Department of State, Thomas L. Delare, Director for Terrorism Finance and Economic Sanctions Policy Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Kevin Whitaker, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Mr. Adam J. Szubin , Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Connie Mack