BEIRUT, Lebanon – The Hezbollah leader has denied US accusations that he has cells in Venezuela. Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday that his group did not “need them”.
He also said that his organization is in “solidarity with the political leadership and the State of Venezuela against American aggression.”
Nasrallah added that his group has no influence in Venezuela nor does it have cells operating there.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that “Hezbollah has active cells” in Venezuela and that Iranians are supposedly impacting the people of Venezuela and all of South America.
Venezuela is undergoing an economic and political crisis that worsened on January 23, after National Assembly President Juan Guaidó declared himself the country’s interim president.
Venezuelan head of state Nicolás Maduro, who took office on January 10, described the statement as an attempted coup by Guaidó and blamed the United States.
Guaidó was recognized by the US, most of the Lima Group members and several nations throughout the Americas, as well as most of the European Union.
Russia, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey and other countries reaffirmed their support for Maduro.
Concerned about alleged “war plans” promoted by the United States and Colombia against Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro suggested the permanent deployment of the Bolivarian Forces to defend the country from external aggression.
On Twitter, the president stated that “he ordered the immediate creation of a Special Plan for Permanent Implantation and Adaptation of Force, so that our #FANB [Bolivarian National Armed Forces] remain mobilized, developing plans of defense against conspiracies and provocations, from where they come.”
Ordené la creación inmediata de un Plan Especial de Despliegue Permanente y Adecuación de Fuerza para que nuestra #FANB se mantenga movilizada, desarrollando planes de defensa contra las conspiraciones y provocaciones, vengan de donde vengan. pic.twitter.com/NMfGO5r8h8
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 16, 2019
Maduro used the same tone during an official speech to the Venezuelan population, during a broadcast of the state broadcaster VTV.
Without specifying details of the operation, the president stated that the mobilization will articulate tanks, missiles and soldiers, as well as guarantee that it must reach the entire Venezuelan territory.