Spanish – With Iran’s help, Nicolas Maduro’s regime reportedly installed an operations center in northern Venezuela to monitor all air and sea communications.
The Presidential Commissioner for Security, Iván Simonovis, revealed that the center of operations would be located in Cape San Roman in the state of Falcon in the northwest of Venezuela.
At least five Iranian tankers are heading to the South American country to supply the regime with fuel. However, the United States government hinted at the possibility of taking measures to prevent the ships from reaching their destination.
According to Simonovis, the Iranian airline Mahan Air is helping to set up the operations center, which is also near the Cardon refinery, one of the largest refineries in the world, which both Maduro and Iran are seeking to revive.
According to the Security Commissioner, Mahan Air has flown 17 flights to Venezuela between April 22 and May 8.
“Most of them ended up in Paraguaná with the excuse of repairs on the oil issue… but it is not like that. What they are doing is creating an operations center in Cabo San Román,” he said.
The installation of the operation center coincides with the largest anti-drug operation that the United States has undertaken in the Caribbean, not only to dismantle criminal gangs linked to drug trafficking but also to cut the income that the Maduro regime obtains from such illicit activities.
The center of operations in Cabo San Román would not be the only one in Venezuelan territory. In June 2019, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro condemned that “Iran and Hezbollah have a solid base of operations in South America in alliance with the narco-dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.”
Although Iran and Venezuela have long shared warm diplomatic relations, they have grown even closer in recent months after Maduro appointed Tareck El Aissami as the oil minister and also asked Tehran for help in reviving refineries in exchange for paying with gold.
Iran keen to defend Maduro
Last week, it was revealed that the Trump administration will take action against Iran for helping Nicolás Maduro’s regime with fuel supplies. In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a warning calling the possible actions of the United States a “dangerous escalation.”
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the head of Iranian diplomacy said that “these efforts by the U.S. to take coercive measures to disrupt Iran’s oil sale are a dangerous escalation.”
The Iranian official also warned that his country “reserves its right to take all appropriate and necessary measures and decisive action … to secure its legitimate rights and interests against such bullying policies and unlawful practices.”
The website TankerTrackers, a tracking site for oil trade by sea, simultaneously reported that five Iranian oil tankers appeared to be heading for Venezuela. The ships would be loaded with gasoline and other crude oil derivatives valued at 45.5 million USD.
Former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton called on China and Iran as they continue to collaborate with the regime of Nicolás Maduro. “Maduro’s illegitimate regime receives assistance from China and Iran to repair Venezuela’s damaged oil refineries. Make no mistake, China and Iran are in deep cooperation to prop-up failing Maduro and embarrass the United States,” he said.