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On March 9, 2015 the White House declared Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security. Along with the declaration, sanctions were brought against seven Venezuelan officials for crimes violating human rights. This declaration is an extention of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act enacted in December 2014. Prior to this declaration, Lieutenant Commander Leamsy Salazar defected to the United States, and after the declaration the Banca Privada d’Andorra was sanctioned as a money laundering mechanism for the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

Context for these recent developments in Venezuela is provided in a chapter by SFS executive director Joseph Humire for the recently published book Reconceptualizing Security in the Americas in the 21st Century (Lexington Books, 2014). Humire’s chapter: Venezuela: Trends in Organized Crime, analyzes how the Bolivarian government uses state-power to fuel, broker and facilitate transnational organized crime. This chapter was featured in a recent Miami Herald article by recognized Cuban scholar Dr. Carlos Alberto Montaner as well as (in Spanish) by Antonio Maria Delgado in El Nuevo Herald.

Humire also provides extensive analysis and commentary regarding this concerning trend in Venezuela in several media outlets.

SFS will continue to follow and report on the national security implications of the US and Cuba relationship, as well as the instability and insecurity in Venezuela, with detailed research, analysis and commentary. You can follow our reporting on Facebook or by following @SecureFreeSoc.

SFS executive director Joseph Humire was quoted on CNN en Español’s twitter feed. The tweet reached 1,431 retweets and 235 favorites.

Joseph Humire on the program Conclusiones of CNN Español discussing the corruption of Venezuela’s state-owned energy firm PDVSA and how it is being used as a money laundering mechanism for organized crime.

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