UN: Venezuela leader in cocaine transit, another victory for the robolution

July 6, 2009

(Este post se encuentra en Español aqui)

On Sunday, El Nacional (Ciudadanos page 13, by subscription) carried an article on the recent report by the United Nations on drug consumption and trafficking, which besides talking about the increase in consumption of opiates in Venezuela (page 89 of report),  it says Venezuela has become the largest transit country for cocaine in the world (page 72 of report), with an estimated 40% of all cocaine shipments going through the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The first thing you notice is the reaction of the Venezuelan Government, rather than being embarrased or surprised, or simply announce a new war on drugs, they somehow reach the conclusion that this was a victory for the country, finding it positive, as the UN found “Venezuela among the top countries in seizures of cocaine shipments”.

Well, it turns out that seizures in Venezuela are actually down, not up, while the percentage of cocaine trafficking that goes through the country is actually up significantly , but apparently the Colonel has little acquaintance with basic mathematical concepts.

But the most bothersome thing about this is the implications. Who watches the border for drug trafficking? Well, our illustrious military, which has been able to lobby for and purchase billions of dollars in defensive and offensive weapons, tanks, helicopters and jet fighters, but the country only has a single airplane dedicated to fighting drug trafficking and a meager seven frigates for over 1,000 Kms. of coast.

And the reason for this you may wonder? Well, I will not insult your intelligence on this, but it is quite obvious: corruption. The military looks the other way for the same reason that the Government looks the other way in the dozens of corrupt financial/business schemes that the robolution has invented in the last few years under the watch (??) of Hugo Chávez.

Thus, another victory for the Chávez revolution, joining those of terrifying crime statistics, kidnappings and corruption. Unfortunately, while these last three can be reverted in the future, the nefastous corrupting effects of drug trafficking and use, have proven to be almsot impossible to reverse once they are ingrained into the culture of a country.

12 Responses to “UN: Venezuela leader in cocaine transit, another victory for the robolution”

  1. Alek Boyd Says:

    You know Miguel, in 2006 Moises Naim suggested me to follow a few leads on seizures of drugs originated in Venezuela in Africa and other places. As a result I wrote an article entitled “The Venezuela Connection”, which can be read here: http://www.vcrisis.com/letters/200604210704


  2. [...] Naciones Unidas: Venezuela lider en transito de cocaina, otra victoria para la robolución Julio 6, 2009 (This post can be found in English here) [...]

  3. Kepler Says:

    I wrote a couple of things about Venezuela-Africa-Europe.
    I wrote some about this report here
    http://venezuela-europa.blogspot.com/2009/06/venezuela-and-cocaine-for-europe.html

    One thing I noticed particularly was the amount of Venezuelans getting caught in Portugal carrying cocaine. I mean: more than Brazilians even if there are many more Brazilian visitors in Portugal and Colombians used to be the ones doing the trafficking.
    I wonder if those caught come directly from Venezuela or from
    Guinea Bissau.

  4. GWEH Says:

    Kepler: from Venezuela.

    And Zelaya protects the Venezuela-Honduras cocaine air-corridor. The Americans know it and we will see if Hillary takes Zelaya to task tomorrow. They are not going to air this publicly. The warnings will be private. I have to believe that the United States is going to do the right thing in cooperating with the new Honduran government against Zelaya’s multinational protection racket of which Americans are the ultimate victims. Honduras fired a public verbal warning the other day aimed at Zelaya and the US … note the ensuing silence. I think the Hondurans have little to go on … they know but they cannot finger the president.

    It became apparent when the Hondurans revealed the difficulties they had with the PDVSA Falcon 50 jet that illegally entered its airspace.

    The twins that carry cocaine (Cessna Conquests, Rockwell Aero Commanders, etc) land on roads in Honduras. They also land on a small island. Several of these landings have resulted in accidents due to the small margin of error (room to maneuver) … that is how the Hondurans find out (after the fact). The gringos on the other hand, have radar tracks from Venezuela to destination and then some.

  5. GWEH Says:

    I want to ad that the PDVSA Falcon 50 aircraft was exhibiting hostile behaviour and that any such stunt (illegally entering airspace sans flight plan and with transponder off) in Venezuela, Russia or Iran would have resulted in the scrambling of air force interceptors or a shootdown by air defense missile systems. Try overflying Washington, DC airspace like that and a shootdown is also likely.

    Folks and the media need to read beyond the headlines for the ALBA neocommunists are playing the headlines but when it comes to substance they come up empty-handed. This whole episode has been a gross miscalculation by Chavez and the Cubans. Very typical of them to always go for the gold … so predictable.

  6. GWEH Says:

    reminds me of Chavez in 2004 when he went to Russia … they failed to file flight plans with the Ruskies for the three aicraft in Chavez’s convoy. Russian air defense radars picked them up and two jets were scrambled. They were five minutes from intercept when the confusion was cleared and the stand-down was given. This was the same trip that saw many of Chavez’s entourage detained in a Russian cathouse after one of them pilfered the tip jar. Back then Putin had little respect and use for Chavez besides the business of arms sales. But a persistent Chavez has withstood the winds of change and now the Russians view their Venezuelan pawn with a different eye.

  7. GeronL Says:

    I have a question. How has the Venezuela economy been for the average person? Have prices increased dramatically? Are some goods harder/impossible to find?

  8. island canuck Says:

    Geroni,

    Prices are rising rapidly. Every time we go to the supermarkets we see increases. For someone on a fixed Bolivar income it would be very depressing

    The other problem is shortages. Trying to buy meat or chicken is always an adventure. You can never depend on finding quality products. Very often there will be mayonnaise but from a brand you have never heard of. Often if you buy it it will be terrible. This applies to dozens of products.

    When we see things we know we will be using we buy in quantities so we won’t run out. Having a large freezer helps. Unfortunately this option is not open to most Venezuelans who live & buy day to day.

    We recently were in the US for a vacation & visiting the local Publix was emotional. Hard to describe the feeling of having everything you could want in 20 different presentations.

    Chavez may hate the Imperialists but most of his followers would leave in a second if they had the opportunity to go there.

  9. Kepler Says:

    Gweh, this does not make sense.
    Why are they not saying it?
    Political reasons? Politics why?
    Or do they know some of their own (US government) people
    are into that?
    Or they would be revealing their informers?
    Then when is the moment to reveal drug-related issues?
    I don’t know…don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are plenty of people involved in drug trafficking within Chavez’s government but I doubt the US has something juicy to talk about. If they had, they would have revealed it already…I think.


  10. [...] country, along with its overall political and economic ills. What drew my attention, however, was his take on Venezuela’s characterisation in the recent World Drug Report and Chavez’s response to it. On Sunday, El Nacional [...]

  11. GWEH Says:

    Kepler, the Hondurans did mention it but the problem is that there is no hard evidence directly linking Zelaya to this. There are probably other reasons as you suggest political being one of them.

    Lets looks at precedent: USG had a sealed indictment for cocaine trafficking against Raul Castro in the early 90′s. Same scenario as Honduras but the Clinton administration refused to go forward. Fidel Castro then sent a few loyal generals to the firing squad in the ensuing cover-up. Here’s a good article:

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/08/raul_castro_coc.html

    Another similar case happened with Aristede. USG also had a sealed indictment against him. Same scenario as Honduras. I think three of Aristede’s lieutenants were extradited, tried and convicted in the US. Aristede was warned to shut his mouth after he was exiled or he would also be indicted. Aristede complied and quit saying the US kidnapped him.

    Panama under Noriega also saw the same but that is murkier. Lore has it that CIA director William Casey gave Noriega the green light to move cocaine in return for assistance against the communists. Then you had the Nicaraguan ‘freedom fighters’ who moved the cocaine to California to fund their resistance efforts all under the eye of the USG. That was a dark chapter for USG and to this day, Americans involved will deny it happened because that is the way old school gringos are.

    Going back to Honduras I don’t know what USG really knows besides the suspicious aircraft radar tracks. Remember that DEA has been expelled from Venezuela. Some of the info I provided is common knowledge within certain Venezuelan circles but as I have stated before, anyone caught talking will be killed.

    USG (DEA, etc) does not talk about drug investigations or activity period except for Mexican border which they have to talk about.

    The Honduran aircraft movement are tough to nail down on the Honduran side. If you saw the composite radar tracks for suspicious aircraft movement in the Caribbean you would freak out. Hispaniola despite cooperation is swamped. The Dominican government is serious about fighting this but the resources are limited and corruption still permeates the Domrep military despite the purges. In Honduras you have aircraft landing in very remote improvised airstrips, unloading and maybe refueling in a matter of minutes. Nobody sees a thing and those involved are a very small group. That is why it’s very hard to make a case against Zelaya.


  12. [...] Alvarez Paz did not make this up, in fact, I wrote not long ago about a report by none other than the United Nations in which the UN said that Venezuela had become the “the [...]


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