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    The new regional defense school of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas, or ALBA – the eight-member economic and geopolitical bloc founded by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro – was formally inaugurated in Warnes, Bolivia, last May in the presence of Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi.
Iran, an observer nation in ALBA, is believed to have provided at least some of the seed money for the academy.
Officials estimate that up to 300 “trainers” from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are present in Bolivia – with at least some said to be providing indoctrination at the facility.
Regional experts now estimate that Bolivia could end up becoming as significant as Venezuela for Iran, both as a source of strategic resources for its widening nuclear program and as a hub for the Iranian regime’s expanding asymmetric activities in the Americas.
(Ilan Berman – Daily Beast)
The writer is Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council.

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