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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More cocaine caught. Port of origin: Venezuela

Aleksander Boyd has the details: Mexico: 1 ton of cocaine seized, port of origin Venezuela
Mexican daily El Universal reports that nearly a ton of cocaine was seized aboard a plane arriving from Venezuela in Mexico City's International Airport: 25 pieces of luggage -from flight 374 of Mexicana de Aviacion- were detected containing the drugs.
Alek's RCP article on The Venezuela Connection explains the context of the situation:
Venezuela, under Hugo Chavez's tenure, has become, for all intents and purposes, a gangster's paradise. Drug traffickers, wanted terrorists and criminals seem to be able to live quite comfy under the lenient watch of a Venezuelan administration that has characterized itself for being totally immersed in the destruction of the country's institutions and international agreements to which it once formed part. As Chavez's savage political discourse rules the official agenda, activities destined to arrest activities of organized crime are nearing irrelevancy. For instance the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Venezuela on August 2005, under the spurious and unsubstantiated charges that its staff was a) spying and b) involved in drug trafficking, as denounced by Hugo Chavez himself. Since 1999, military and DEA over flights are forbidden in Venezuela. Arguing violations to the country's sovereignty, the president suspended monitoring of drug trade activities by US agencies.

Statistics reveal a correlation between Venezuela's lax policies vis-à-vis drug trafficking and the substantial increment of large seizures of narcotics by international authorities. It seems that the Chavez administration is hell bent in providing safe haven and support to Colombian narco-guerrillas, which some believe have succeeded the former cartels in the production, trans-shipment, international commercialization and related operational aspects of the drug trade. The capture in Caracas of FARC leader Rodrigo Granda on December 13 2004 shed light upon the rather cozy relationship between top guerrilla leaders and Venezuelan officials. Granda, who was granted Venezuelan citizenship by the present administration according to former president of Congress Cristóbal Fernández Daló, had been, at the time of capture, living in Venezuela for a while. His wife and step-daughter entered Venezuela thanks to the assistance and explicit orders of former Chavez's Minister of Interior, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín. It is worth bearing in mind that Colombia is, after the US, Venezuela's second largest commercial partner. That fact notwithstanding, Hugo Chavez brought diplomatic and commercial relationships to a halt over the capture of Granda.
Last April I posted on the Caribbean drug trade originating from Venezuelan ports and airports.

As I said then, Hugo needs money for financing his "Bolivarian Revolution", i.e., his desire to control all of Latin America's politics. For that he needs money. A huge amount of money. The drug trade is one source.

Update
American Thinker is also posting on the story.
Also on Venezuela, Gustavo Coronel's article, Ahmadinejad and Chavez Ride a Downward Spiral

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