The Nicaragua Army is not commenting on a series of articles published today by the Israeli press alleging that Iran and Hezbollah have set up a training camp inside Nicaraguan territory.
“I don’t know those reports, or in what media that is being reported in,” Nicaragua Army spokesman lieutenant colonel Orlando Palacios told The Nicaragua Dispatch in a phone interview. “I would have to see (the reports) to give an opinion on them, but for the moment I don’t have any opinion.”

  1. Iran–Contra affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia–Contra_affair
    It was planned that Israel would ship weapons to Iran, and then the U.S. would resupply..... sales to Iran were made available to assist the Contra rebels in Nicaragua......Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the crack cocaine explosion.
  2. Blowback (intelligence) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    2.1 Afghanistan and Al Qaeda; 2.2 Nicaragua and Iran-Contra; 2.3 Israel and ... their sponsor's civil populace (see CIA and Contras cocaine trafficking in the US); ...

Asked if the army could categorically deny the existence of Hezbollah training camps in Nicaragua without reading the articles, Palacios repeated that the army has no comment.
“I repeat, I don’t know the articles and I can’t opine on something I haven’t read. Neither the army nor I have any opinion about this at this time,” Palacios said.

Iran Contra, Guns for Drugs - YouTube

    "Iran Contra, Guns for Drugs", a playlist created by robinhoodtheorem. ... Ronald Reagan Lies About Secretly Selling Arms To Iran Through Israel  ...
  • According to Israeli media reports, which are wildly unsubstantiated, Hezbollah is training terrorists in a secret location in northern Nicaragua, near the Honduran border.
    “Approximately 30 members of the terrorist organization reside inside the area, which is closed to locals,” reports the Times of Israel, citing only Israel Radio as its source. “The Hezbollah men reportedly receive all their supplies from Tehran.”

    Other Israeli media outlets picked up the suspicious report, citing only “local media” in Nicaragua as the source of information. In Nicaragua, however, no local media is reporting that Hezbollah has a training camp here.
    U.S. Southern Command, which presumably would be very interested in any such terrorist activity in Nicaragua, also says they have no idea where such reports are coming from. Jose Ruíz, spokesman for U.S. Southern Command in Florida, says he has never heard of any Hezbollah activity in Nicaragua.
    “We are aware of (Iran’s) growing diplomatic and economic presence in the region, we are not aware of a military presence,” Ruiz told The Nicaragua Dispatch. “This is definitely the first time I have heard of any Iranian presence in Nicaragua of this nature.”

    Father Miguel d’Escoto ( photo/ Tim Rogers)
    Miguel d’Escoto, one of President Daniel Ortega’s closest advisors on foreign policy, says the accusations made by the Israeli media amounts to “absurd craziness.”
    “You smear as much as you can on the wall and some will stick,” d’Escoto, who still holds the honorary rank of foreign minister, told The Nicaragua Dispatch in a phone interview this afternoon. “It’s like Al Capone accusing someone of being a thief; that’s the amount credibility that the Zionists have.”
    D’Escoto, the Sandinistas’ foreign minister in the 1980s who later served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 2008-2009, said he doesn’t know what would motivate Israeli media to launch such an unsubstantiated accusation against Nicaragua, but says he doesn’t expect anything less from Israel or the United States.
    “The only ones who train terrorists in this world— that I know of—is the United States in the first place, and in second place the Zionists,” d’Escoto said.
    As unsubstantiated as the concerns about Hezbollah activity in Nicaragua may be, they are not new.
    Last March, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, alleged that Nicaragua could be as platform by Iran and Hezbollah “to carry out attacks against our homeland.”


    1. Israeli allegedly trained Colombia guerillas lands in Israel after ... - Similar
      Lt.-Col. Yair Klein wanted in Colombia on charges of training the 'death squads' released from jail and is on his way back to Israel.
    2. Colombia: 8 Israelis suspected of drug trafficking - Israel News ... › YnetnewsNewsWorld NewsCached
      7 Feb 2012 – News, World News: Local media reports claim Israeli 'former military men' also suspected of money laundering, exploitation of minors.
    3. Colombia considers purchase of Israeli unmanned drones ... › NewsNewsCached
      17 Apr 2012 – Following the meeting between Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak, the Middle Eastern nation opens ...
    Those concerns, though never backed with any proof, have been repeated with increasing frequency, notes Roberto Orozco, a Nicaraguan security expert at the Managua-based Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policy (IEEPP).
    “We don’t have any information at all that this is going on,” Orozco said in response to the Israeli media reports published today. “We don’t know if this is fantasy, but we don’t have any concrete information about any such activity.”
    Orozco says that since Ortega’s return to power in 2007, there have been a wide range of media rumors of Iranian and Hezbollah activity in Nicaragua published and broadcast in Costa Rica, U.S., Israel and Europe. Orozco says the concerns were further perpetuated by WikiLeaks cables that made Nicaragua seem like “the tip of the spear for Iranian activity in Central America.”
    More recently, there has also been speculation about what Nicaragua is offering Iran in exchange for the Iranian government’s debt forgiveness plus a $250 million loan for unspecified “development” projects.
    But so far, Iran’s presence in Nicaragua has been more rhetorical than substantive. Since 2007, the only project that has come to fruition is a $1.5 million health clinic donated by Iran. None of the other projects—including an alleged mega-embassy— even made it beyond the rumor stage.
    Iranian Ambassador Akbar Esmaeil Pour—head of a three-man diplomatic mission here, which he calls “the smallest in Latin America”—describes his country’s relationship with Nicaragua as “win-win.”
    “We have not come here against anybody,” Pour told me in April 2010, in his first—and, as it turns out, only—comments to western journalists. “We have come to demonstrate our collaboration and solidarity with countries such as Nicaragua.”
    Other than conjecture and political fear-mongering, there is no credible evidence to back any of the claims that Iran is now up to no good here, Orozco says. IEEPP, he says, is “evaluating” the most recent Israeli media reports to “see what is behind all this.”

    What is apparent, Orozco says, is that Nicaragua is getting mentioned with increased frequency in foreign-language media stories related to terrorism. IEEPP, which monitors foreign media on issues related to defense and security, has noticed a recent uptick in bad press for Nicaragua.
    “Nicaragua is starting to reappear in international media in respects to terrorism and international movement of terrorists—and that’s the truth,” Orozco told The Nicaragua Dispatch.
    But even then, Latin American analysts in the U.S. are scratching their heads over the latest reports from Israeli media.
    Latin America analyst Samuel Logan, director of the Southern Pulse research and analysis firm in the United States, notes that “Geopolitical proximity to Tehran doesn’t directly translate into leniency of Hezbollah activity inside your country.”
    Hezbollah, he says, probably doesn’t have a reason to set up a training camp in Nicaragua. And Nicaragua—a country that is building a nascent economy on foreign investment and tourism, much of which comes from the U.S.—definitely doesn’t have a good reason to allow Hezbollah into the country.
    “I wouldn’t put it past Ortega to make a bad call, but I don’t know if he is going to make that bad of a call to give implicit or explicit permission for Hezbollah to train in Nicaraguan territory,” Logan says.
    reporting for this story sponsored by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.


    Colombian gun-running scandal links shady Israelis, Al-Qaeda
    On Aug. 8, a Guatemalan court issued arrest warrants for the three Israelis, Shimon Yelinek, who headed the DIGAL S.A. arms trading company in Panama, and Ori Zoller and Uzi Kissilevich, who own the Guatemala-based company Grupo de ...

    In October 1999, a series of events began which resulted in the illegal diversion of 3000 AK47s and 2.5 million rounds of ammunition from Nicaraguan government stocks to the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), a terrorist organization in Colombia.� The diversion was made possible by negligent actions on the part of various government officials and private companies, and the willful and criminal actions of several private arms merchants.

    The original, legitimate, transaction was to be a trade between the Nicaraguan National Police and a private Guatemalan arms dealership, Grupo de Representaciones Internationales (GIR S.A.).� The Nicaraguan Army introduced GIR S.A. to the police.� GIR S.A. offered the police a quantity of new Israeli manufactured pistols and mini-uzis in return for five thousand surplus AK47s and 2.5 million rounds of ammunition.� This was an attractive arrangement for the police since it was a cashless transaction and would provide the police with arms more suitable for police work.

    GIR S.A.� shopped for a buyer for the police arms and settled on Shimon Yelinek, an Israeli arms merchant based in Panama.� Yelinek claimed to be representing the Panamanian National Police, and during the negotiations presented GIR S.A. and Nicaraguan officials with a Panamanian Police purchase order, which has been proven to be a forgery.� Neither GIR S.A. nor any Nicaraguan official ever questioned the purchase order or attempted to verify that Panama had in fact offered to buy the weapons.

    Yelinek inspected the police weapons some months after the deal was made, and after Nicaraguan authorities had given permission for the transaction.� He declared them to be unserviceable and unsatisfactory.� This threatened the transaction.� GIR S.A. and the Nicaraguan Army solved the problem by arranging a swap of 5000 surplus police AK47s for 3117 serviceable weapons in the Nicaraguan Army inventory.� GIR S.A. delivered the Israeli arms to the police and the Nicaraguan Army took over responsibility for delivering the AK47s.� Although the parameters of the transaction changed, no new authority was requested from responsible Nicaraguan agencies.

    Yelinek identified a Panamanian maritime company, Trafalgar Maritime Inc., to pick up the arms in Nicaragua and take them to Panama.� The arms were transported by the army to the port of El Rama, Nicaragua, and were loaded aboard the company�s only ship, the Otterloo, which declared for Panama.� Instead, the Otterloo sailed directly to Turbo, Colombia where the arms were delivered to the AUC.� The Captain of the ship disappeared shortly thereafter, and the maritime company was dissolved several months later.� The Otterloo was sold to a Colombian citizen.

    Immediately after the shipment left Nicaragua, GIR S.A. began to organize another sale to Yelinek from the Nicaraguan Army, using the same purchase order, this time for an additional five thousand AK47s and 17 million rounds of ammunition.� Prices were exchanged between the three, Yelinek made a down payment, and the deal was under way.

    When the diversion of the initial shipment became known, the intelligence services of Colombia, Nicaragua and Panama agreed to organize a �sting� operation, ostensibly to track this second shipment and identify those responsible for the first diversion.� This plan fell apart fairly quickly when GIR S.A. found out that it was in play and canceled the shipment.

    The OAS investigative team believes that:

    1.       Shimon Yelinek is likely guilty of fraud and of violating Colombian anti-terrorism laws, and possibly Panamanian anti-terrorism laws, among others.� An associate�Marco Shrem, appears complicit in these activities, but to an unknown degree.

    2.       �The owner of the Otterloo, the ship which transported the arms to Colombia, is apparently guilty of conspiring with Yelinek to provide the AUC with arms and of violating Colombian, and possibly Panamanian, anti-terrorism and other laws.

    3.       The captain of the ship which transported the arms to Colombia, along with his first mate, may have been cognizant of, and a participant in, the arms diversion organized by Yelinek.�

    4.       Although the Investigative Team found no evidence that Ori Zoller and Uzi Kissilevich, the owner and general manager of of GIR S.A., respectively, were co-conspirators in the arms diversion, their failure to make any attempt to verify the actual destination for the arms contributed to the diversion.

    5.       The Government of Nicaragua failed to comply with a number of provisions of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacture and Trafficking in Weapons, Munitions, Explosives and Related Materials (CIFTA), to which it is a party.� Nicaraguan authorities are guilty of professional negligence with their failure to verify whether the Panamanian National Police was indeed the true end-user in the arms exchange.

    6.       There appears to be no involvement of Panamanian authorities in the exchange of arms, or their diversion.�

    7.       Colombia is the victim of the arms diversion.� However several Colombian customs agents were likely accomplices of, or were bribed by, the AUC in order to allow the Otterloo to land its cargo of arms and ammunition in the port of Turbo.

    II.� Recommendations:

    The OAS Investigative Team presents below a number of recommendations to strengthen the existing Inter-American arms control regime and prevent diversions of this type from occurring in the future.

    Recommendation 1:� The governments of Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama should vigorously pursue investigations into possible criminal conduct on the part of any and all persons involved in this case, and should seek the collaboration of other governments� including Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Mexico, and the United States of America in the investigation and prosecution of these possible crimes.� These efforts should include attempts to resolve the unanswered questions presented in section VII of this report.


    Israel 'supplied arms to Argentina during Falklands War' - Telegraph › ... › South AmericaFalkland Islands
    20 Apr 2011 – Israel secretly supplied arms and equipment to Argentina during the Falklands War due to Prime Minister Menachem Begin's personal hatred of ...

    Israel warns Argentina: Recognizing Palestinian state shatters ... - Similar
    Argentina's announcement follows Brazil's declaration of recognition last week, in wake of request made by Abbas on Latin American tour last year.