Since then, it has been rumored that Gen. Naqdi also traveled to Bolivia in May 2011, alongside the former Iranian defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, at the invitation of Bolivian President Evo Morales to inaugurate a partially Iranian-funded facility on the outskirts of the commercial capital, Santa Cruz.
This facility, which is now operational, is the regional defense school for militaries of the Chavista-funded Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. Training in asymmetric warfare includes, but is not limited to, the organization and deployment of civilian militias.
Bolivia has a presidential election scheduled for October, in which many opposition members think Mr. Morales is also preparing armed civil militias similar to the colectivos in Venezuela, to take action in case the Venezuelan opposition protests spread south along the Andean ridge into Bolivia.
Having someone of Gen. Naqdi’s caliber in Venezuela (and potentially Bolivia) is no trivial matter. His experience as the former deputy director for intelligence of the elite Qods Force, and his firsthand tactical knowledge of how to repress peaceful protests and incite violence against opposition members is well-documented.
The similarities in the death of Genesis Carmona and Neda Agha-Soltan are hardly coincidental once one understands that those who pull the triggers, beat protesters, run the prisons and engage in torture are inspired, advised and trained in the same ruthless strategies for repressing their own people.
Joseph M. Humire is the executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society and the co-editor of the forthcoming book “Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America.”