One of Venezuela's senior government officials, who fled to the United States, essentially defecting from the Bolivarian Republic, some time ago confirmed that, eight years ago, his country's current president, Nicolas Maduro, held a covert meeting, in Damascus, with the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah. For some reason, this information was not disclosed in most major media, perhaps because, if the American public was made aware of it, they might not look upon Venezuela, then a major supplier of oil, as favorably as the US State Department wanted them to, and oil prices could rise, without Venezuela as a source of oil for America's automobiles and trucks.
The purpose of that secret meeting was to firm up the cooperative agreements between the Chavez regime and Hezbollah, specifically, how Venezuela would assist Hezbollah in its profitable drug trafficking operations, crucial to its terrorist financing objectives, and how the proceeds of crime would be funneled, via an air bridge into Panama, and on into the country's amoral banking structure. As you can see, Sr. Maduro is not only no friend of the United States, he works with its enemies.
Since then, Hezbollah has enjoyed the lucrative profits that the drug trade offers, and more importantly, has moved those profits through Panama, with impunity, as Western intelligence agencies are obviously content to merely monitor Hezbollah in Latin America, rather than attack and destroy it. The net result is that money flows to Beirut, through Panama City, uninterrupted.
The situation in Panama has changed to some degree, with the new reformist government of President Varela. The question is: will it finally get around to cleaning up Panama's out-of-control money laundering banks, some of which are controlled by ownership of Middle Eastern ethnic heritage, and who will, frankly, do anything for a dollar. Will Panama throw Hezbollah out of its banks ? Perhaps it can start by closing up its offices and front companies, and continue the job by shutting down the Venezuelan bulk cash smuggling air bridge into Panama's Albrook Marcos A Gelabart International Airport, and by finally closing the three banks notorious for accepting US Dollars from Venezuelan "businessman."