Venezuela as the New Cocaine Capital
The Washington Post devotes 3 pages on the burgeoning cocaine trade in Venezuela.
It sounds like a low-budget version of Scarface. The drug kingpins are in cahoots with the Venezuelan military officers. The blame is given to Bush:
The Bush administration's dismal relations with Venezuela's government have made matters worse, anti-drug agencies say, paralyzing counternarcotics cooperation.
Venezuela did cut back on U.S. intervention efforts, but here's why:
Saying his government would not stand for what he called violations of Venezuela's sovereignty, Ch¿vez banned American surveillance flights in its airspace in 1999, shortly after he took office. Then, in August 2005, he suspended bilateral anti-drug cooperation after accusing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of spying, charges the Bush administration strenuously denies.
The drugs now leave Colombia for Venezuela where they are then flown to the Hispaniola, the Dutch North Islands and the Dominican Republic after which they are sent to the U.S.
Europe and Africa get their fair share as well:
Cocaine is also smuggled to Europe via shipping containers, on clandestine flights to Africa and on airliners using Caracas's international airport, where American authorities say airport workers are bribed to permit the smuggling of a ton of cocaine each month.
That's what happens when there's a black market for substances. People can make outrageoud amounts of money. Even the most dedicated cops and military officers go weak at the knees at the thought of what all that money can mean for them and their familiies.
It's the politics of contraband, the Smuggler's Blues (watch the video with Glenn and his real first wife, Janie Beggs who I really like.)
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