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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kenneth Rijock: Iranian missiles are pointed at Colombia, increasing country risk


Will there be a war in Latin America in 2008? Two years ago, I reported on the covert shipment of Iranian missiles* to Venezuela. These offensive weapons systems have now finally been assembled and installed inside Venezuelan territory, but their intended targets are not the United States; it is Colombia. Eyewitnesses report that the missiles are now located on the border with Colombia, are under the direct technical supervision of Iranian nationals, and are fully operational. The Venezuelan economy is headed towards total chaos, and the country's leadership, having recognized the FARC and ELN as sovereign national entities, appears committed to changing the present Colombian government into a socialist state. Will the Chavez government, believing that the United States is too preoccupied with the Middle East, and fearing that its runaway corruption will bring it down, fire these missiles into Colombia, in support of a final FARC offensive, seeking to topple the elected government? Whilst we hope that this does not come to pass, one must now prepare in case it does.

For the foregoing reasons, we recommend that country risk for Colombia should now be reassessed, to factor in the distinct possibility of an armed conflict with Venezuela this year. If offensive missile systems are deployed against Colombia, normal international communications, as well as power grids, will most likely be disabled, and financial institutions temporarily closed. International banks whose clients have substantial commerce with Colombia would be wise to create a contingency plan at this time, for letters of credit, international funds transfers, and routine payments would all be disrupted.

Note also that financial criminals, particularly transnational money launderers acting on behalf of narcotics trafficking organizations, might also seek to transfer funds, calculating that in the chaos of war, distracted and overworked compliance officers might not discover, or could overlook illicit transactions. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
* Note that much of the equipment is of Russian manufacture, but since Iran supplied them to Venezuela, one can only regard them as of Iranian origin.

Source: From A Different Angle: World-Check

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