The Palestinian Authority (PA) is NOT a sovereign nation; it has no army. So why is Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the PA, in Caracas, to sign, among other things, a military cooperation agreement? Remember, there is a "tractor parts" facility in Venezuela that is a front for an AK assault rifle factory, being operated for Russian owners.
Venezuela has provided a safe haven, and training ground, for many years, for Hamas, Hezbollah, ETA, and just about every other Middle Eastern sanctioned terrorist organization that exists. Is it a coincidence that Abbas is there?
This is just one more reason to tread carefully when dealing with any Venezuelan entity, be it government or private sector. You do not know who your Venezuelan vendor, client or customer is fronting for. The last thing you want is a very public OFAC fine for unwittingly conducting a transaction with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant