Skip to comments.IRAN'S WINNING LATIN POWER PLAY
Posted on 05/02/2008 5:59:37 PM PDT by Mount Athos
'A MAN of God and an enemy of the Great Satan": That's how Iran's official media described Fernando Lugo - the Paraguayan ex-priest who just won his country's presidency in a hotly contested election.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Lugo on his win - hopes that Paraguay will now become another link in what he calls "the counter lasso" - the chain of anti-US regimes he's supporting with the help of his "brother," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Ahmadinejad's analysis is simple: America is trying to throw a lasso around Iran with the help of allies in surrounding regions. So Iran should throw a counter lasso via an alliance in the United States' South American backyard.
The Vatican had rejected Lugo's resignation from the priesthood but suspended him after he ran for office despite being denied permission. He visited Iran in the '90s to pay homage to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - whom Lugo has praised as "a forerunner of the modern global revolutionary movement."
Since the late '80s, the Iranian-run Hezbollah, a global movement of Khomeinist militants, has built a base in Paraguay by recruiting in the Shiite community, about 15 percent of the population. That base played a key role in ensuring Lugo's victory, especially via a big fund-raising campaign backed by Iran and Venezuela.
Cuba was the first Latin regime to forge an informal alliance with Iran. In the last 18 years, Iran has injected billions into Cuba's ailing economy, partly by providing free crude oil.
But only in the late '90s did Tehran find a true Latin ally in Chavez - who has visited the Islamic Republic six times, setting a record for any foreign leader. He's helped Iran create a radical axis in OPEC, with Libya and Algeria
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Paraguay. Now there’s a national power to back.