Cablegate and Iranian bicycles

Does anybody remember the “atomic bicycles” factory in Venezuela?

An Iranian company built a factory in Venezuela to supposedly build up to 10,000 bicycles per year for export back to Iran. The bicycle factory was built as Venezuela and Iran strengthened military ties, and the US government claims the factory is actually for the production of machinery required for Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Venezuela president Hugo Chavez even rode a bike near the factory at a photo op, dubbing the two wheeler “the Atomic Bike” to mock these allegations.

In one of the mass of recently leaked diplomatic cables at Wikileaks, a U.S. political analyst at the American Embassy in Caracas reports on growing anti-semitism in Venezuela as the country strengthens its ties with Iran as reported by a Jewish community organization in Venezuela. Many Jewish leaders believe “President Chavez’s close alliance with Iranian President Ahmadinejad did not bode well for the Venezuelan Jewish community.

“Many members expressed deep concern about Iranian activities in the country such as the “atomic bicycle” factory”], citing the lack of transparency at the international Maiquetia airport in Caracas on flights to and from Iran and the suspiciously inefficient Iranian factories for bicycles. “What are these factories really producing?” asked one [Jewish community member]

The full report at 0VENEZUELA’S JEWISH COMMUNITY SEES “DARK HORIZON”.

THank you to Steven for digging this up!

3 Comments

  • December 2, 2010 - 6:25 am | Permalink

    Check your first paragraph for a typo.

  • December 2, 2010 - 7:10 am | Permalink

    Thanks Steven – fixed now.

  • December 3, 2010 - 12:28 am | Permalink

    So, anyone know if the factory has actually been producing bikes?

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