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Top US general: Venezuela not a threat

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General Douglas M. Fraser, USAFThe Air Force general responsible for U.S. military operations in most of Latin America said Tuesday that he does not believe Venezuela, despite ongoing arms purchases and close ties to Iran, poses a national security threat to the United States.

Gen. Douglas Fraser also said he would like to see more counterdrug cooperation from Venezuela, from which most northbound cocaine smuggling flights continue to originate, according to U.S. and Colombian officials.

He also said he did not consider Iran's ties with Chavez's socialist government to amount to a military alliance.

"As I look at Iran and their connection with Venezuela, I see that still primarily as a diplomatic and economic relationship," he said, with Iran using it to counter international sanctions over its alleged development of nuclear weapons.

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