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Venezuela Denies Presence of “Any Foreign Military Installations” while U.S. Media Repeats Accusations

Mérida, May 19th 2011 ( – On Wednesday Venezuelan Vice President Elías Jaua strongly rejected claims by a German publication that his government has allowed for an Iranian military presence in Venezuelan territory.

Jaua called the accusations “fabrications from within U.S. dirty war laboratories” which intend to “continue their attacks on Venezuela.” The vice president went on to reiterate the Venezuelan government’s position that as a sovereign state they allow “no foreign country to have any type of military installation” in their country.

“We deny the existence of any foreign military installations, which are explicitly prohibited by our constitution,” said Jaua on Wednesday.

Jaua’s statements came in response to an article published late last week by Germany’s Die Welt in which author Clemens Wergin cites anonymous “diplomatic sources” and “Western security insiders” to assert that Iranian military personnel have established a military presence in Venezuela’s Paraguaná Peninsula; some 120 kilometers from the Venezuela-Colombia border.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for officials of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, Jaua said that Venezuela is not “in the business of arming ourselves to harm anyone.” Instead, he affirmed, Venezuela has “an organized populace, with consciousness, and an Armed Forces that are prepared and moralized to defend a nation.”

“While it is true that arms and equipment have been secured so as to defend the homeland, these actions are not of an aggressive nature; instead, they serve only to preserve and guarantee peace and to construct socialism in the Republic…We seek only to defend our vast maritime, terrestrial, and aerial space,” he said.

Bringing his comments to a close, Venezuela’s Jaua affirmed that the Chávez government would “defend the peace and sovereignty” of the Venezuelan people who are “faced with these types of campaigns which intend to confuse international public opinion so as to harm our country at a later date.”

Examples of U.S. corporate media outlets that used the Die Welt article to publish their own reinterpretations of the story include Fox News and Miami’s El Nuevo Herald.

In a Fox News piece entitled, “Opinion: Iran is Building a Secret Military Installation in Venezuela,” author Reza Kahlili expands on Die Welt claims and accuses the Iranian government of establishing “many entities and facilities in Venezuela as front companies involved in covert operations, such as exploration of uranium.” Kahlili – a supposed pseudonym by an anonymous writer and “ex-CIA spy” – affirms that Iran’s “new military alliance with Venezuela is most alarming for our [U.S.] national security.”

Miami’s El Nuevo Herald prepared a similar news piece, headlined “Iran Installs Missile Base in Venezuela” in which author Antonio Maria Delgado cites “anonymous defectors” of the Venezuelan armed forces who decided to report the Iranian missile base to U.S. authorities after “coming to the conclusion that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, without any need to do so, was involving Venezuela in an international conflict that could have terrible repercussions.”

On Thursday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro reiterated Jaua’s statements, calling the accusations against Venezuela an “extravagant lie” spread by “the right-wing’s international media.”

Published on May 19th 2011 at 6.44pm