US: Terrorist Incidents in Venezuela Reflect Growing ELN Presence

US: Terrorist Incidents in Venezuela Reflect Growing ELN Presence

By Voice of America (VOA)/Edited by Diálogo Staff
July 23, 2020

Terrorist incidents in Venezuela in 2019 reflected the growing presence and territorial control of the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish), the U.S. Department of State said in its annual report presented June 24.

The report shows an increase in confrontations between the ELN, other Colombian and Venezuelan illegal armed groups, and Venezuelan government forces.

In its report, the U.S. Department of State stresses that there were no changes in Venezuelan anti-terrorist laws in 2019.

Border security at ports of entry was vulnerable and susceptible to corruption,” the report added.

In addition, the Department of State highlights that the Juan Guaidó government worked with regional partners to invoke the Interamerican Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (also known as the Rio Treaty) in September to address the Maduro regime’s illegal activities, including terrorism and its financing.

U.S. sanctions Iranian ships’ captains for delivering oil to Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was sanctioning five Iranian ship captains who had delivered oil to Venezuela.

Pompeo also told the press that the United States continues to support Interim President Juan Guaidó.

Washington and most governments in the Western Hemisphere have recognized Guaidó as the nation’s legitimate leader.

“Great advances” in the fight against terrorism

In 2019, the United States and its partners made great advances to defeat and dismantle international terrorist organizations, according to the June 24 report.

The Department of State’s report on terrorism added that, throughout the year, several countries in Western Europe and South America joined the United States in designating Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety.

In 2019, Argentina, Kosovo, Paraguay, and the United Kingdom joined the United States in designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, rejecting the false distinction between its “military wing” and an alleged “political wing.”