Reps. Cook, Poe and Ros-Lehtinen pen letter to President Trump urging more action on Hezbollah

By on January 2, 2018
Rep. Paul Cook

Yucaipa’s Congressman Rep. Paul Cook (R-8th District-Apple Valley) and two peers – Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX 2nd District) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27th District) – recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump regarding Hezbollah’s drug trafficking activities in the Western Hemisphere and urging stronger U.S. action. The letter urges the Administration to designate Hezbollah as a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) and as a Designated Kingpin Entity (SDNTK) and to open an investigation into Hezbollah as a criminal enterprise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

“For far too long we have ignored the growing convergence of Iran-backed Hezbollah with transnational criminal networks in Latin America. While I applaud the Trump Administration for prioritizing the need to deter and disrupt Hezbollah in the Middle East and elsewhere, we need to do more to address Hezbollah’s illicit activities closer to home in the Western Hemisphere,” commented Rep. Cook. “Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that also runs a criminal enterprise and traffics drugs from South America to fund its global terrorist operations. The U.S. and our regional partners have a vital interest in using every possible tool to prevent Hezbollah’s ability to conduct terrorism, particularly given past attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina in the 1990s and an attempted attack in Washington, D.C. in 2011.”

Reps. Poe and Ros-Lehtinen also commented on Hezbollah’s terrorist activities. Rep. Poe said, ““The U.S. government must use all resources at our disposal to go after Iran’s number one terrorist proxy: Hezbollah.” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said, “If recent reports of the size and scope of Hezbollah’s operations in Latin America are true, we should all be alarmed as it puts the terror group right in our own hemisphere. We have no time to waste in addressing this threat…”

“President Trump has a huge opportunity now to strike a major blow to Hezbollah’s ability to carry out its terror operations, and I look forward to supporting the President’s efforts on this critical issue,” stated Rep. Cook.

Rep. Cook is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Rep. Poe is Chairman of Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Rep. Cook is currently a member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees. He served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Rep. Cook’s maintains a Yucaipa office at 34282 Yucaipa Boulevard. The Yucaipa office phone number is 909-797-4900; please call prior to visiting the office in order to confirm hours of availability.