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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Venezuela and the DEA

From the Venezuela Information Office:
Venezuelan officials this week suspended a number of agreements with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after an investigation into the behavior of U.S. anti-narcotics officials in Venezuela. Venezuelan authorities will continue to work closely with Colombia, European governments, and international organizations to impede the transportation of drugs through Venezuela.

Venezuelan leaders cited a number of reasons for this break with the United States, few of which have been reported in the North American press.

* Human Rights Concerns
Venezuelan law enforcement officials have long expressed concern that US drug agents violate the rights of innocent Venezuelans and run roughshod over local drug enforcement efforts. Some U.S. agents pose as dealers, actively participating in drug deals in order to catch big-time operators, an act that violates Venezuelan legal norms.

* DEA Espionage
Venezuelan officials say that a month-long investigation of DEA officials turned up evidence that some U.S. agents are using their job as a cover to gather intelligence against the Venezuelan administration.

* Sanctions Were a Foregone Conclusion
Venezuelan drug interdiction efforts have been on the increase since President Chavez took office in 1999 (See this report by the U.S. Embassy in Caracas for more details: ). Yet in recent months, U.S. officials have been publicly dismissive of Venezuelan anti-drug activity. Last month, the State Department's top Latin American diplomat declared that Venezuela has been unhelpful in the war on drugs, even though Venezuela had seized a record tonnage of illegal narcotics in the first half of 2005. U.S. criticism has been more frequent in the lead up to next month's State Department evaluation of Venezuela's anti-drug effort. A poor evaluation can lead to economic sanctions. Many Venezuelan observers are convinced that the United States, for political reasons, is planning to impose sanctions no matter how cooperative the Venezuelan government has been.

* Misplaced Priorities
Many Venezuelans have expressed frustration with the emphasis U.S. agents place on countries, like Venezuela, that are neither the source nor the destination of the majority of illegal drugs. While Colombia supplies roughly 80% of the world's cocaine, and the United States retains the vast majority of world demand, other Latin American countries often get caught in the crossfire for reasons of geography and politics.
The DEA, like the National Endowment for Democracy, are fronts for the American empire's attempts to recolonize the world. DEA and NED, along with the IMF and the World Bank, are basically thin veils disguising their more ominous inner beings--the CIA and the DOD. Hugo Chavez knows this, and refuses to play the game.