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House Resolution Designates Venezuela a State Sponsor of Terrorism

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Iran hasn't attacked a neighbor in over 200 years, but has defended itself vigorously when attacked, including during the 1980-88 war with Iraq, a conflict the Carter administration triggered in an attempt to destabilize and weaken both countries.

Noted Latin America expert James Petras calls the FARC-EP the "longest standing, largest peasant-based guerrilla movement in the world (that was) founded in 1964 by two dozen peasant activists (to defend) autonomous rural communities from" Colombian military and paramilitary violence.

Hezbollah is no terrorist organization. It's a legitimate resistance group, and, as a political party, is part of Lebanon's elected government. In addition, it's well respected for providing essential social services, including a network of schools, medical clinics, and organized relief after Israeli South Lebanon bombings in 1993, 1996, and 2006.

Also, according to Aijaz Ahmad writing in the Indian magazine, Frontline:

It's "the only entity which has, through armed resistance, forced the Israelis to relinquish any territory that the Jewish state has ever captured" through decades of regional belligerency.

Mack Attack Round Two

HR 872 is round two for Mack. On March 13, 2008, he and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL) introduced HR 1049 (with eight co-sponsors) "calling for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism (and) condemn(ing) the Venezuelan government for it support of terrorist organizations," at that time referring to the FARC-EP. The resolution died in the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Referred there as well, the new one won't fare better. Otherwise the implications are serious as state terrorism designation means halting normal relations, prohibiting US companies from exporting and operating there, and denying America vitally needed Venezuelan oil. It's the nation's fourth largest supplier after Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

In its "State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview," the US States Department imposes the following sanctions:

1. "A ban on arms-related exports and sales.

2. Controls over exports of dual-use items (that may be anything, including oil), requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods and services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country's military capability or ability to support terrorism.

3. Prohibitions on economic assistance.

4. Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions, including:

-- Requiring the United States to oppose loans by the World Bank and other international financial institutions;

-- Lifting diplomatic immunity to allow families of terrorist victims to file civil lawsuits in US courts;

-- Denying companies and individuals tax credits for income earned in terrorist-listed countries;

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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