Tarek El Aissami
|Tareck El Aissami|
|Governor of Aragua|
|Preceded by||Rafael Isea|
|Minister of Interior and Justice|
September 2008 – October 2012
|Preceded by||Ramón Rodríguez Chacín|
|Succeeded by||Néstor Reverol|
|Born||12 November 1974|
|Alma mater||University of the Andes|
Early life and education
El Aissami was born on November 12, 1974. He spent his childhood in El Vigía, Mérida, Venezuela. His father, Zaidan El Amin El Aissami, who is also known as Carlos Zaidan, was a Druze immigrant from Lebanon and was an alleged military associate of Saddam Hussein. He is a graduate of the University of the Andes (ULA), where he was influenced by Utopia 78, a left-wing student movement.
El Aissami began working for a Venezuelan government department participating in civic duties, where he would issue both passports and identities. In September 2008, he was appointed to be the Interior Minister and Justice of Venezuela under Hugo Chávez's presidency. He was previously deputy minister in the same cabinet, and a member of the National Assembly of Venezuela.
He has been described as, "One part master of Middle-Eastern networking, one part honorary Cuban revolutionary, and one part highly ambitious chavista." Indeed, his connections to Cuba and Iran have been highlighted by The Wall Street Journal as well as the Center for a Secure Free Society. Moreover, the Gatestone Institute has highlighted his connection to Hezbollah.  According to Rafael Isea, Aissami was allegedly paid off by drug kingpin Walid Makled (es) in order to receive drug shipments in Venezuela.
- "الوزير طارق العيسمي نائبا لرئيس جمهورية فنزويلا". Al Amama. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Ral, Dahir (24 May 2012). "Tareck El Aisamí: Los hombres capaces son los que escriben la historia". Venezolana de Televisión. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. (Archive)
- Mary Anastasia O'Grady, The Iran-Cuba-Venezuela Nexus: The West underestimates the growing threat from radical Islam in the Americas., The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2014
- "Venezuela, el principal nexo de Hezbollah para su ingreso a América del Norte". Infobae. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- Maria Delgado, Antonio (10 September 2014). "Venezuela, trampolin del Hezbola". El Nuevo Herald. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- "Chávez Turns to Venezuela Crime with New Council." Latin American Herald Tribune. Retrieved on April 10, 2009.
- (Spanish) ABN, 9 September 2008, Tarek El Aissami se desempeñará como nuevo titular del MIJ
- Anna Mahjar-Barducci, Venezuelan Minister Hangs Out With Hezbollah, Gatestone Institute, February 11, 2011
- DeCórdoba, José; Forero, Juan (18 May 2015). "Venezuelan Officials Suspected of Turning Country into Global Cocaine Hub; U.S. probe targets No. 2 official Diosdado Cabello, several others, on suspicion of drug trafficking and money laundering". Dow Jones & Company Inc. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
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