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Venezuela: not enough revenue from oil? Sell cocaine...
Posted by: mcq on Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hugo Chavez is definitely a socialist, but when it comes to revenue to prop up his faltering socialist paradise, he's not so ideologically hidebound that he'll pass up an easy and quick opportunity to generate revenue - regardless of the possible consequences:
The varied testimonies I have heard reveal that the co-operation between Venezuela and the guerrillas in transporting cocaine by land, air and sea is both extensive and systematic. Venezuela is also supplying arms to the guerrillas, offering them the protection of their armed forces in the field, and providing them with legal immunity de facto as they go about their giant illegal business.

Thirty per cent of the 600 tons of cocaine smuggled from Colombia each year goes through Venezuela. Most of that 30 per cent ends up in Europe, with Spain and Portugal being the principal ports of entry. The drug's value on European streets is some £7.5bn a year.

The infrastructure that Venezuela provides for the cocaine business has expanded dramatically over the past five years of Chávez's presidency, according to intelligence sources. Chávez's decision to expel the US Drug Enforcement Administration from his country in 2005 was celebrated both by Farc and drug lords in the conventional cartels with whom they sometimes work. According to Luis Hernando Gómez Bustamante, a Colombian kingpin caught by the police last February, 'Venezuela is the temple of drug trafficking.'

A European diplomat with many years of experience in Latin America echoed this view. 'The so-called anti-imperialist, socialist and Bolivarian nation that Chávez says he wants to create is en route to becoming a narco-state in the same way that Farc members have turned themselves into narco-guerrillas. Perhaps Chávez does not realise it but, unchecked, this phenomenon will corrode Venezuela like a cancer.'
Corruption has always been a way of life, unfortunately, in many Central and South American countries. Chavez stands to rewrite the book in that regard with his "narco-state" policies and his turning a blind eye to the level of corruption it promises an already benighted country.
 
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Hmmm, sounds like Chavez could go the way of Noriega

Clear and present danger, a continuing threat to our national security, etc...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
You know, we could end all the narco-states tomorrow by eliminating the laws that create their 10,000% profit margins.
 
Written By: TallDave
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