Drugging the West


On January 9, Hugo Chavez announced that two Venezuelan F-16s had been dispatched to intercept a U.S. P3 maritime patrol aircraft in his country’s airspace, presenting it as another example of American aggression. In reality, Chavez is trying to push back against U.S. anti-narcotics efforts because he knows that it will expose him as a drug king pin whose business is helping terrorists and poisoning Western societies.

As widely reported, Venezuela supports the Marxist narco-terrorist group called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly referred to as FARC. This group has been found to be working with Al-Qaeda drug traffickers in West Africa, three of which were extradited to the U.S. in December. Faced with increased interceptions of cocaine from Latin America directly to the U.S., the Venezuelans and their Colombian allies are instead transiting via West Africa.

“All of the aircraft seizures that have been made in West Africa, and we’ve made about a half a dozen of them, had departed from Venezuela. If you look at the range and refueling requirements, that’s the place you have to fly from,” Jay Bergman, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s director for South America’s Andean region told MSNBC.com.

Venezuela has become the number one supplier of cocaine to the U.S., Spain, and Colombia, with the amount increasing by four times between 2004 and 2007. Over half of the cocaine in the United Kingdom, and possibly as high as two-thirds, arrives via Venezuela. Since Chavez has come to power, the number of drug-related arrests in Venezuela has fallen dramatically, at one point to less than one-tenth of the number before he came to power.

The Venezuelan also uses FARC and its drug networks to support other forces friendly to their anti-American cause. As Iran and Chavez have gotten closer, so has Hezbollah with the FARC and Venezuelan officials. After Jose Manuel Zelaya was ousted from power in Honduras, it was claimed by the Honduran Foreign Minister that Zelaya and Chavez had been collaborating in sending cocaine to the U.S.

“Every night, three or four Venezuelan-registered planes land without the permission of appropriate authorities and bring thousands of pounds…and packages of money that are the fruit of drug trafficking…We have proof of all of this. Neighboring governments have it. The DEA has it,” he said.

This cannot be attributed to widespread corruption in Latin America. This is a calculated effort on the part of Chavez’s government. In September 2008, the Treasury Department blacklisted three senior Venezuelan officials for their involvement in supporting FARC and their drug activity. This included the head of Venezuela’s military intelligence, the head of their overall intelligence community, and a former interior and justice minister.

On January 21, 2008, the White House’s drug czar dismissed the notion that the drug trafficking in Venezuela was not necessarily a government enterprise.

“Where are the big seizures, where are the big arrests of individuals who are at least logistical coordinators? When it’s being launched from controlled airports and seaports, where are the arrests of corrupt officials? At some point here, this is tantamount to collusion,” he said.

Chavez is doing this because it works. It is a good intelligence tool, as it allows for the penetration of enemy institutions, and is a great fundraiser for covert activities and terrorists. Venezuela and their allies are able to profit off of the self-induced damage of Western drug addicts, and can use drug trafficking to support forces that wreak havoc upon their enemies.

Although no direct evidence of Venezuelan government support for Mexican drug gangs is available, their overall support for narcotics trafficking to the U.S. undoubtedly helps them wage war. In 2005, Mexico and Venezuela severed ties and recalled their ambassadors after Chavez accused President Vicente Fox of being a “puppy” of the U.S. and threatened him, saying “Don’t mess with me, sir, because you’ll get stung.” Although ties were restored in 2007, Mexico is still governed by the same political party as Fox under President Felipe Calderon, an opponent of Chavez.

Chavez has reacted to U.S. concern over this activity with dismissal. In 2005, he ended all cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Agency. He has actually accused the DEA of being the ones behind the drug trafficking in his country, and has minimized their presence to only two agents by not renewing their work visas. Chavez has publicly opposed the War on Drugs, describing it in 2006 as “an excuse that imperialists have used for several years to penetrate our country, trample our people and justify a military presence in Latin America.”

Venezuela is not merely supporting drug trafficking due to corruption, make money, and support its FARC ally, but as an instrument of policy. And there should be a price to pay for that policy.

  • http://functionalsamuraiswords.com/ samuraiswords

    functional samurai swords

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ElroyJetson LightSkinnedBlanco

    Political assassinations–gotta love 'em. ¡Que se chingue, Chavecito!

  • Robert

    Sounds like a Clear And Present Danger situation to me.
    Wheres a good conservitive presadent when you need one?

    • Stephen Brady

      All you need is a conservative President willing and a single sniper. In Vietnam, I could take out a target with a single round at ranges out to 2000 meters. US law regarding political assassinations would have to be changed, for this to happen.

      "Marxist" Venezuela is a bubble that will burst when Hugo Chavez dies …

  • Melinda

    Individual A voluntarily and knowingly buys "poison" from Individual B and the conclusion is that Individual B "poisoned" Individual A? Free individuals who enjoy using drugs are not vicitims and their salesmen are only criminals in an unfree society.

    Chavez is a horror whose funding apparently is greatly enhanced by the US Nanny State's violation of her own citizen's rights.

    What to do? What to do?

  • Bellerophon

    Bad law always has bad unintended consequences. Just as Prohibition built the mafia from a conglomeration of street gangs into a criminal network powerful enough to control entire city governments (Al Capone chose the mayor of Chicago), drug prohibition has built up international terrorist gangs.

    While the mafia had ties to American communities and therefore could not engage in wholesale terror the new terrorist gangs have no such incentives to limit the damage done. On the contrary, their hatred of all things American (except our money) inspires mass murder.

    Until drugs are legalized these gangs will have almost unlimited funding available to wreak havoc in America. Since even the most egregious violations of the Constitution have utterly failed to elminate drug use it is time to reconsider this stupid and destructive "war on drugs".

    • coyote3

      I am somewhat familiar with narco traffickers. They do not have a hatred of all things American, unless, and until, it gets in their way of making money. That is really all they care about. They might be aligned with ideological extremists for convenience, but they will eat them alive when the time comes. These guys are the ultimate capitalists, and greed will triumph every time. It has never failed yet. Please don't misunderstand, I don't mean to imply that they aren't dangerous, or that they have some redeeming qualities. They don't care how they get money, and with it power. They only care that they get it. Who do you think is "really" running the show. It is the same guys who were in charge during prohibition. Well, not the "same" ones, but the same organization.

      Otherwise, I agree with you to the extent that the prohibition is largely responsible for the greatest crime wave in history, which hasn't stopped yet. Even though I enforced these laws (we didn't write em'), I believe it is time to take a long hard look at what works and what doesn't, and what, if anything, we should be prohibiting.

  • Margaret

    For the last twenty years, the black community has promulgated the myth that the United States government has deliberately put drugs into black neighborhoods to keep black men and women down. Now, Obama is support Chavez, and you don't hear any one beating the drum that this is going to hurt black Americans. Shouldn't the President be actively opposing Chavez, the drug lord-dictator? Shouldn't the President be standing against what has historically destroyed the promise of black America? Shouldn't the black leadership be decrying Chavez and the profits to be made off black misery?

  • Jennifer

    Recent reports state that 70 percent of America's youth are unfit to serve in the military. The infestation of drugs undoubtedly contributes to this situation. The very poppy fields of Afghanistan provide unestimable harm to the ability of the United States to continue the war on terror. It is no accident that Chavez is teamed with jihadists.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/cjk cjk

    Now I know why all those leftist hollywood freaks like Belafonte, Penn, and Oliver Stone adore that guy and are always going down there.

  • Jaime

    The legalization of drugs will cut off the economical support of terrorists and the new"mafias". Afghanistan will get more money from potatoes than poppies. The same with Syria (Beka valley), Southeast Asia and South American countries. Also America could become a provider of drugs to other countries based on quality and price. American whisky and cigarrets are used all over the world so why not mariguana, opium, heroine, etc., etc.

  • USMCSniper

    This disaster to black people in Haiti was responded to immediately by Obama. He and the lamestream media are already lobbying for Hiati's blacks, with tons of tear-jerk propaganda to soften up Whitey so he'll accept tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants as refugees. Obama will probably sign an executive order to fly them in via commercial airliners to the USA, put them in 1st class hotels and immediately on the welfare roles, plus place them all on the fast track to full citizenship so yjey can vote in 2012. Then we will pour hundreds of millions of dollars back into Haiti and it will be the same primitive society again in less than 5 years

    • BBRebozo

      I heard a caller, on Shawnnity, a while ago raving about Obama's Christian charity and what a good Christian man Obama is, completely not understanding that, while charity is generally a Christian act, his act of charity was with taxpayer money he was committing to the Haitians. All it takes for evil to prevail is for 60 million + emotional, drooling idiots to get out and vote. I used to wonder, years ago, why the Left seemed to push feeling–it displaces intellect. We're in deep dooty.

  • BBRebozo

    A Latinamericano sending drugs north to destory norteamericanos? Digame que no!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/melpol melpol

    The flow of M&M [Meth & Marijuana] across the border will be stopped. Mexican President Felipe Calderon will not sleep until every drug dealer is behind bars. But he cannot afford to do it alone, billions are needed from the US to pay for the costs of his war. After he cashes the check, thousands of drug enforcement agents will climb into the mountains,they will stop and frisk every peon and mule for M&M. Felipe Calderon is a friend that can be trusted to stop illegal drugs and corruption in Mexico. Lets support him.