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A prisoner at JVA Heilbronn prison
A prisoner at JVA Heilbronn prison
Flora Wisdorff

RAVENSBURG - Otto Oberländer calls out a friendly "Hello!" as he enters the production hall where a dozen men work at a long table putting garden sprinklers together. The men, who all wear blue boiler suits, give a friendly acknowledgement of the boss’s greeting and then get back to work. The fact that the door to the hall is locked doesn’t strike, one way or the other. It’s only when Oberländer refers to his “rogues” instead of workers that we remember this isn’t any old medium-sized enterprise: it’s the JVA Ravensburg prison just outside the city of Ravensburg in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Inmates don’t just build sprinklers: among other things, they make furniture, switching circuits - “we make everything except lukewarm ice cubes,” says Oberländer, and that includes a recent a shipment of dildos fabricated out of high-grade steel.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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