Venezuela Accuses U.S. DEA of Being a Drug Cartel


Richard Moore

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Venezuela Accuses U.S. DEA of Being a ³Drug Cartel²
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

By: Chris Carlson -

Mérida, May 8, 2007 (‹ The Venezuelan government responded 
yesterday to United States Drug Czar John Walters' criticisms that Venezuela is 
not cooperating with the United States in the fight against drugs by saying that
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is a "drug cartel." The Venezuelan government 
rejected Walters' statements, saying that the U.S. has the intention of damaging
Venezuela's reputation and intervening in its affairs.

John Walters, who is the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy 
in Washington, made the statement in an interview with the Colombian magazine 
Semana last week. And today in Brussels, Walters made further statements about 
Venezuela at a meeting with the European Union and NATO about drug-related 
issues. Walters warned of an increasing problem with cocaine entering Europe 
from South America, and in particular from Venezuela.

"Venezuela is gaining importance for drug dealers," said the US Drug Czar. 
"There are flights from legal airports to Dominican Republic and Haiti. Sea 
shipments are dispatched from several points on the Venezuelan coast."

But the Venezuelan government rejected the claims made by Walters, saying it was
an attempt to discredit anti-drug efforts in Venezuela. Minister of the Interior
Pedro Carreño warned that the recent declarations are a new attempt to intervene
in Venezuela with the intention of putting military bases in Venezuelan 

¨The United States establishes cooperation agreements in the fight against drug 
trafficking through economic cooperation so that they can later impose the 
presence of military bases under the pretense of cooperation," said Carreño 

Carreño dismissed any possibility of permitting the intervention of US 
authorities in Venezuela to fight drug trafficking and accused the US Drug 
Enforcement Agency (DEA) of forming its own ³drug cartel.² According to the 
Carreño, when Venezuela ended its cooperation with the DEA two years ago, they 
observed that the US agency was trafficking drugs through the country.

"They were making a large quantity of drug shipments under the pretense of 
monitoring them, and they didn't carry out arrests or breakup the cartels," 
explained Carreño. "We were able to determine the presence of a new drug cartel 
in which the United States Drug Enforcement Agency was monopolizing the shipment
of drugs," he said.

Carreño assured that Venezuelan security forces are willing to receive 
information that the United States can offer in order to detain drug traffickers
in the country, but he maintained that Venezuela "is not going to allow them to 
carry out operations in our territory."

"Venezuela is a free, independent country that has its own National Armed Forces
and security forces to provide protection to our country, and we are not going 
to let some other Armed Forces come to our government and impose on us the 
presence of military bases," stated Carreño.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez ordered an end to the country's cooperation 
with the DEA in 2005, alleging that some members of the agency were infiltrating
government intelligence and were a threat to the security of the country. Since 
then, Washington has made repeated accusations about drug trafficking in 
Venezuela, claiming that their lack of cooperation is allowing drugs to be 
passed through the country and into the United States.

The Venezuelan government, however, sees these declarations as an attempt to 
coerce them into allowing US intervention in the country. Venezuela insists that
if the United States government is sincerely concerned about fighting drugs, it 
should lead by example and protect its own borders from illegal drugs.

"Just like they ask Venezuela to do flyovers under the excuse that this is a 
drug trafficking route, they should use their Air Force to flyover their own 
airspace," said Carreño.

Carreño suggested that instead of continuing the supposed anti-drug program Plan
Colombia, that the United States "should apply a Plan Washington, New York, or 
Miami, so that they flyover their own air space, and take care of their coast 
and border because 85% of the drugs that are produced in Latin America go to the
United States."

Just as other South American countries have suggested, Venezuela insists that 
the United States could best fight drug production in Latin America by lowering 
the demand for drugs inside the United States.

¨By the law of the market, if you reduce the demand, you reduce the production,"
said Carreño.

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