Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as that country’s legitimate president, not President Nicolás Maduro, Hezbollah declared its support for Maduro, condemned the “attempted overthrow” that it said was orchestrated by the United States, and sent an official delegation to the Venezuelan embassy in Beirut to express its support for Maduro.

This is not the first time Hezbollah has declared its backing for Maduro.

In August 2018, it denounced an assassination attempt against Maduro and claimed that the United States was responsible for it.[1] Further, according to various reports, Maduro and his former vice president Tareck Zaidan El Aissami[2] have strong ties to Hezbollah and Iran.[3] According to an anti-Maduro Venezuelan member of parliament, Hezbollah owns two goldmines in the country that it uses to finance its terror activity.[4] Also, according to various reports, Hezbollah had links to the government in Venezuela even before Maduro was elected. In 2008, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on two Venezuelan nationals, one of them a diplomat, for their Hezbollah connections.[5] There were also reports of Hezbollah involvement in drug trafficking under the patronage of senior members of the Venezuelan government.[6]

Left: Hezbollah emblem; right, Maduro.

This report reviews Hezbollah’s reactions to recent political events in Venezuela:

Hezbollah announcement: The U.S. is behind the attempt to overthrow The legitimate government of Venezuela

On Jan. 24, following U.S. President Trump’s recognition of Guaidó as Venezuela’s president instead of Maduro, Hezbollah declared its official support for Maduro.

It stated in its declaration that it “condemns the flagrant American intervention, aimed at undermining the stability of Venezuela, and harshly condemns the attempt to overthrow the country’s legitimate government—an attempt orchestrated and supported by the U.S. Hezbollah affirms its support for President Nicolas Maduro and his elected government. … The entire world knows that the purpose of the intervention is not to protect democracy and freedom, as Washington claims, but rather to take control of the country’s natural resources and to punish the patriotic countries for their political choices against America’s American hegemony in the world.”[7]

Hezbollah parliamentary faction chairman: The U.S. intervention is a disgrace that should be obliterated from human history

The following day, on Jan. 25, a senior Hezbollah political delegation visited the Venezuelan embassy in Beirut to express support for Maduro.

The delegation included Hezbollah faction leader Parliament member Mohammad Raad, Hezbollah foreign-affairs chief Parliament member Ammar Al Moussawi, and Hezbollah political council member Mahmoud Qamati.

At the conclusion of the visit, Raad said: “All the brothers in Hezbollah and Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah support the Venezuelan people and its free leadership. … The American intervention harms the interests of the people and is a disgrace that should be obliterated from human history. … The stand of the Venezuelan people against the American intervention is a powerful stand and it is unthinkable that we wouldn’t support it.”[8]

Read full article at MEMRI.