Five Congressmen call for investigation into Latin America-Iran connection
Sen. Robert Menedez from New Jersey, is one of 5 congressmen who have called for an investigation into Latin America’s connection with Iran. (Flickr: transportworkers)
Five U.S. congressmen, including three Republicans and two Democrats, made calls to investigate the extent of Iran’s influience in Latin America and the U.S., in part due to the revelations of Univision’s documentary, “The Iranian Threat” (La Amenaza Iraní).
Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey and chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, said he wanted to organize a hearing previously planned for February 2012 “as soon as posible,” in part because of the Univision documentary.
“The Univision investigation presented well-documented information, including videos, audio recordings and interviews showing a conspiracy involving the governments of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba to launch cyber and other attacks against U.S. territory,” read the statement released by Sen. Melendez’s office.
“As the Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I plan to conduct a hearing as soon as possible to investigate these very serious allegations and the U.S. response to Iranian aggression.”
Senator Menendez was joined by four representatives, including fellow New Jersey Democrat, Albio Sires and Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, David Rivera, and Mario Diaz-Balart, who were more specific in their statements: They asked the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to launch an investigation on the Consul General of Venezuela in Miami, Livia Noguera Acosta, for her alleged links with a possible cyber attack on the United States in combination with agents and diplomats from Iran and Cuba.
In a letter to Hillary Clinton on Friday, the four politicians expressed their “deep concern” over the diplomatic credentials of Acosta, who has been in office since March.
“If proven, these actions demonstrate the willingness of Livia Antoinette to undermine U.S. interests and the potential threat to our national security representing their activities,” said the congressmen.
They also argued that should Acosta Noguera be found guilty of the accusations, she should be declared “persona non grata” and immediately expelled from the U.S.
Activists from the Venezuelan exile community in Miami supported the congressional investigation and requested a wider inquiry into the consul’s activities, not only for her ties to the Venezuelan-Iranian conspiracy but for the evidence to prove that she reportedly is an active officer of Venezuelan intelligence services.
“We are calling for an investigation because we have information that shows she’s not only an active intelligence officer with Sebin (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia), but according to the documentary of Univision, conspired to attack United States,” said Jose Antonio Colina, president of the Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile (Veppex).
Colina said that “there is enough evidence that Acosta Noguera has violated federal laws in the U.S., and should be removed from office.”