Congressman wants Venezuela added to flight-originating countries requiring extra U.S. airport security .
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) – Congressman Connie Mack of Florida, the Ranking Republican of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, today urged the Obama Administration to add Venezuela to the list of countries from which passengers must receive additional security screening prior to coming to the United States. Recently, the Administration announced that citizens from 14 countries, including nations classified as state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, Syria and Cuba, must receive further security screening prior to traveling to the United States.
Mack, who introduced a resolution last year calling on the Obama Administration to name Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism, said:
“As the Administration steps up increased security screening for passengers from countries with a proven lack of effective border security measures, I strongly urge the Administration to add Venezuela to this list.
“For nearly two years, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been warning Americans about the porous security measures at Venezuelan airports and the fact that Venezuela refused to allow TSA officials to assess its airport security measures.
“Today, Venezuelan security has gotten worse. The country’s ties with Iran and terrorist groups like the FARC and Hezbollah have only deepened, and these dangerous ties pose a serious threat to the United States and indeed the entire hemisphere.
“With Iran and terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the FARC operating with few restrictions in Venezuela, as well as reports that individuals with ties to terrorist groups have traveled with Venezuelan passports, there’s no question that the potential for security threats from Venezuela is extremely high.
“The evidence linking Venezuela to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations is overwhelming. For the sake of our national security, the Obama Administration must not only require further security screening for Venezuelan citizens traveling to the United States, but it must also add Venezuela to the list of state sponsors of terrorism without delay.”
Preceding provided by Congressman Connie Mack.
Editor’s Note: The 14 extra-security countries are Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.