Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the administration of US President George W. Bush, Otto Reich, claimed to be in possession of evidence as to the supply of fuel to the Syrian regime by the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, thus contravening the United Nations sanctions.
“The world has witnessed, through the eyes of courageous videographers and journalists, how Bashar al-Assad mercilessly targets Syrian women, children and other civilians for annihilation. Assad’s Russian-made tanks and weapons have been seen obliterating entire neighborhoods and towns. But we know little about the enablers who provide Assad the weapons, the ammunition and the fuel that facilitates the Syrian genocide,” Reich specified.
Now, he cautioned, “we have evidence that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has been sending millions of gallons of diesel fuel to his good friend al-Assad, whom he calls a “humanist.”
According to the diplomat, “Venezuelan state-owned ships have been transporting hundreds of thousands of barrels of diesel fuel to the ruthless Syrian Army. Assad’s killers move around the country assassinating civilians in vehicles fueled by Chavez.”
“At this very moment the Venezuelan oil carrier Negra Hipolita’ is being loaded in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, with more than nine million gallons of ultra-low sulphur diesel bound for Syria’s port of Banias. Soon this fuel will move the tanks and artillery that will pulverize innocent beings, adding to the 12,000 already cold-bloodedly exterminated by Assad,” Reich contended.
The top government officer is positive that “Chávez uses his own vessels because no self-respecting international shipping firm will transport fuel to Assad’s killing machine. There is another advantage, however: since he controls the entire voyage, from dock to dock, Chavez may be sending Assad military materiel hidden in the ships.”
He remembered that just this month, “Chávez boasted that Venezuela is manufacturing thousands of the latest model of the iconic Russian AK-47 assault rifle, the AK-103. Where are those weapons going? Could it be that Chavez’s ships (that, incidentally, also call on U.S. ports carrying oil) are additionally transporting narcotics?”
As reported by the former Assistant Secretary of State, “Narcotics trafficking has reached the highest levels of Chávez’s government; for example, Venezuela’s top.” For instance, he said, “military officer and Defense Minister, Henry Rangel Silva, has been designated as a Drug Kingpin by the US Department of Treasury, as have six other key generals and civilian officials of the government.”