VIDEO: Grassley Questions Secretary Pompeo on Hezbollah Drug Trafficking in Venezuela
Jun 11, 2019
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
WASHINGTON – At a Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control hearing today, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), questioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on drug trafficking efforts by Hezbollah in Venezuela. Grassley sent a letter in February to the secretary, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Department of Defense in light of an interview Secretary Pompeo gave, in which he confirmed that there are active Hezbollah cells in Venezuela.
“What role does Hezbollah play in organized drug trafficking? What other related criminal and terrorist activity exist as a result of money generated by trafficking drugs,” Grassley asked at the hearing. He followed up with, “Amongst the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela, how can the State Department ensure that drug trafficking organizations and other criminal and terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, don’t grow stronger?”
Grassley pressed Pompeo about the connection between Hezbollah and criminal and terrorist organizations, and how they are connected to the overall counternarcotics strategy saying, “When looking at global counternarcotics, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the effect of drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups. In fact, by many accounts, state weakness and powerful criminal organizations are a direct result of drug trafficking and drug abuse.”