Report: Venezuela is spying on Jewish community
Venezuela's secret service SEBIN is spying on the country's Jewish community, according to purportedly leaked documents recently posted online.
Last week Analisis24, a right-leaning Argentinean news website, released 50 documents attributed to the Venezuelan intelligence agency containing private information on prominent Venezuelan Jews, local Jewish organizations and Israeli diplomats in Latin America.
The papers include a dossier on Espacio Anna Frank, a coexistence group in the capital Caracas, with clandestinely taken photos of its offices and private information on its personnel including their home addresses, passport numbers and recent travel itineraries.
It identifies the organization as a "strategic arm of the Israeli intelligence agency in the country," the Mossad, and as a front for "far right-wing Zionists" to recruit agents using "subversive socio-political influence."
Other documents declare the local Jewish community has benefited from the "political and military interference" of the United States in the South American country's affairs and accuses its members, like journalist Abraham Belilty Bittan and former parliamentarian Paulina Gamus, of being foreign agents.
The Anti-Defamation League said on Wednesday the report was deeply troubling and was a further sign of the government of Hugo Chavez's e inveterate bias against Jews.
"It is chilling to read reports that the SEBIN received instructions to carry out clandestine surveillance operations against members of the Jewish community, as described in detail in documents leaked by the Argentinean website Analisis24," the ADL said in a statement. "In a country where the government and some of its followers have publicly accused the Jewish community of disloyalty and where the community's institutions and houses of worship have been attacked, reports of this kind of surveillance add fuel to an already incendiary atmosphere inciting prejudice and hate."
The ADL said the wealth of detailed and private information included in the documents lent credence to its authenticity.