It has been nearly five years since Colombian Special Forces detained Walid Makled Garcia. After extraditing the drug kingpin to his home country of Venezuela, a judge finally ruled on his fate last month. The narcotrafficker was sentenced to 14 years in prison for drug running and financing the guerrilla group known as the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Within twenty-four hours of the sentence, President Nicolas Maduro had the ruling judge arrested for being too lenient.
Colombia’s President, Juan Manuel Santos, had initially informed the United States in 2009 that Walid Makled had been apprehended; however, the US government did not see a need to extradite the criminal. According to President Santos, the United States did not believe he was a person of interest. How wrong the administration was.
Reports from former confidants of Hugo Chavez are confirming that the Venezuelan regime had indeed been involved in brokering deals between Iran and Argentina. Walid Makled had professed his willingness to assist American intelligence in exposing the Venezuelan government’s support of drug cartels, terrorist organizations, and various hostile nations – primarily that of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In 2007, President Chavez was a key figure in establishing payments to then-presidential candidate Christina Kirchner’s campaign from the Iranian regime. In return, the Iranians would receive nuclear know how from the Argentine defense minister.
According to the ex-Chavista informants, during a meeting between the Iranian and Venezuelan heads of state, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Hugo Chavez:
This is a matter of life or death. I need you to be an intermediary with Argentina to get help for my country’s nuclear program. We need Argentina to share its nuclear technology with us. It will be impossible to advance with our program without Argentina’s cooperation.
It has been reported that the current Argentine Ambassador to the Organization of American States and former leftist militant, Nilda Garre, served as the lead negotiator between the Iranian and Argentine defense departments.
The informants have stated they never witnessed the direct exchange of nuclear technology. However, upon further examination, the heavy water reactor located outside Arak in Iran and Atucha in Argentina share many structural and technological similarities. Coincidentally, the reactor in Arak was finished following the proposed deal between the two nations.
In addition to covert deals between Iran and Argentina, news broke that Iran has been sending financial aid overtly to Muslim organizations in order to influence Argentine society. Yussef Khalil, a person of interest in the murder of Alberto Nisman, declared that Mohsen Rabbani, the mastermind behind the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, has been sending money to Argentina in order to continue spreading Iranian Shia Islam– as well as the Islamic revolutionary ideology.
One can only imagine how different events in the Middle East could have been had the transfer of nuclear technology between Argentina and Iran been stopped. The United States should have acted on the opportunity to question Walid Makled Garcia.
The information Walid Makled had at the time could have prevented the Iranian regime from developing their current nuclear technology. Now the world waits for the details of a nuclear deal that will inevitably lead to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.