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Venezuela y los narcos

The US efforts to paint Venezuela as a narco state are impressive given the US creation of the narco states in Colombia, Honduras, and Mexico, as organized by Felix Rodriguez, Che's murderer. A recent book with extensive interviews of senior DEA officials details this, La CIA, Camarena y Caro Quintero: La historia secreta, 2014. An official Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo in 1991 listed then future Colombian president Uribe as a narco senator and close personal friend of Pablo Escobar. This was the man Bill Clinton chose as lead in Plan Colombia. A major player in the US efforts is Sen Marco Rubio, who is a close friend of Uribe and has his own narco history.

The fact that the charges against the Venezuelan government were presented by Attorney General William Barr is particularly over the top - Barr was general counsel for the CIA airline Southern Air Transport, modeled after Air America and a main player in the arms for cocaine deals in the 80's, which involved narcoterrorism in Central America and the US. Beyond US criminality, even an organization like WOLA, which like much of the US "left" is anti-Venezuela, considers these charges to be nonsense:

Beyond the Narcostate Narrative: What U.S. Drug Trade Monitoring Data Says About Venezuela  3/11/2020 WOLA: "Recent data from the U.S. interagency Consolidated Counterdrug Database (CCDB) indicates that 210 metric tons of cocaine passed through Venezuela in 2018. By comparison, the State Department reports that over six times as much cocaine (1,400 metric tons) passed through Guatemala the same year."


Ex UN anti-narcotics chief & mob expert says US Treasury running
‘mafia racket’ against Venezuela  4/3/2020 Grey Zone
Ex UN anti-narcotics chief & mob expert says US Treasury running ‘mafia racket’ against Venezuela  4/3/2020 Grey Zone: "Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Pino Arlacchi, the former Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Prevention, about the US decision to charge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with drug trafficking. Arlacchi explains that in his 40 years of anti-narcotic work, he never came across evidence of Venezuela’s involvement in the drug trade – instead saying that the US and Colombia drive drug production and consumption. As an expert on the Italian mafia, Arlacchi says the US government is actually the party behaving like an organized crime unit in its treatment of Venezuela. Arlacchi also discusses his work at the UN, which included a push to end the heroin trade in Afghanistan. He says his efforts were undermined by US officials after the 2001 invasion of the country."

Trump: US to deploy anti-drug Navy ships near Venezuela  4/1/2020 AP: "The enhanced mission has been months in the making but has taken on greater urgency following last week's indictment of Maduro, Venezuela's embattled socialist leader, and members of his inner circle and military. They are accused of leading a narcoterrorist conspiracy responsible for smuggling up to 250 metric tons of cocaine a year into the U.S., about half of it by sea. “If I was just indicted for drug trafficking by the United States, with a $15 million reward for my capture, having the U.S. Navy conducting anti-drug operations off my coast would be something I would worry about," said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who has been among those calling for a tougher stance against Maduro."

Going After Maduro  3/30/2020 Counterpunch: "Even if the prosecutors in this case could prove conspiracy—a charge that is speculative and subjective as any charge can possibly be—cocaine would still be coming into the United States like it has for decades. This is because drug trafficking prosecutions are not about ending drug trafficking, but about controlling who does the trafficking and who makes the money. Honest drug cops know this and fight it every day. The rest of them either ignore it or take a cut of that money for themselves."

Alleged Maduro accomplice surrenders to U.S. agents, will help prosecution - sources  3/27/2020 Reuters: "U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents on Friday remanded in custody retired Venezuelan general Cliver Alcala, three people familiar with the matter said, after he agreed to work with prosecutors who charged him, President Nicolas Maduro and other top officials with drug trafficking. Alcala surrendered to DEA agents in Colombia and waived his right to challenge extradition, the three people told Reuters. He was flown to White Plains, New York from the port city of Barranquilla, where he had been living."

Trump’s Narcoterrorism Indictment of Maduro Already Backfires  3/27/2020 The Orinoco Tribune: "The myth that Venezuela is a narco-state has already been debunked by the Washington Office in Latin America, a think tank in Washington that supports regime change, as well as by FAIR, 15 y Último, Misión Verdad, Venezuelanalysis and others. It cannot be denied that Venezuela is a transit country for cocaine, but as the maps above and below show, less than 7% of total drug movement from South America transits from Venezuela (the Eastern Caribbean region includes Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula). These maps, produced by the Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Southern Command, respectively, immediately raise questions as to why Venezuela is the country being targeted."

Nicolás Maduro Moros and 14 Current and Former Venezuelan Officials Charged with Narco-Terrorism, Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Criminal Charges  3/26/2020 DOJ: "“The Venezuelan regime, once led by Nicolás Maduro Moros, remains plagued by criminality and corruption,” said Attorney General Barr. “For more than 20 years, Maduro and a number of high-ranking colleagues allegedly conspired with the FARC, causing tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities. Today’s announcement is focused on rooting out the extensive corruption within the Venezuelan government – a system constructed and controlled to enrich those at the highest levels of the government. The United States will not allow these corrupt Venezuelan officials to use the U.S. banking system to move their illicit proceeds from South America nor further their criminal schemes.” "

U.S. Unseals Drug Trafficking Charges Against Venezuela's President Maduro  3/26/2020 NPR: "Barr said interdiction by America and its allies of contraband at sea has increased in recent months — in cases, for example, in which the U.S. Coast Guard stops speedboats or semi-submersible vessels that ferry drugs north in the Eastern Pacific Ocean or in the Caribbean Sea. That increases the importance of the "air bridge," Barr said, which compels action by American authorities to try to constrain it by exposing the Venezuelan regime's involvement. "As we increase our interdiction in both oceans, we are concerned this is being developed as a way of avoiding our maritime interdiction — which makes going after this particular route important for us right now," Barr said." [Planes carrying the bulk of the traffick go from Colombia to Honduras, both under US control.]

U.S. announces reward up to $15 million for Venezuela's Maduro  3/26/2020 Reuters: "“The Department is offering a reward of up to $15 million for information related to Nicolas Maduro Moros,” the State Department said in a statement. The move came as the U.S. Justice Department announced charges against Maduro and others on narco-terrorism."

Feds charge Venezuelan President Maduro, other top officials with narco-terrorism  3/26/2020 Miami Herald: "An indictment, to be unveiled at a “virtual” news conference in Washington, D.C., accuses Maduro and other top officials in his socialist regime of conspiring with the U.S.-designated terrorist group known as the FARC so that Venezuela could be used for narcotics shipments to finance a long-running civil war against the Colombian government. Charged along with Maduro are Diosdado Cabello, a former speaker of the National Assembly who is considered the second most powerful political figure in Venezuela, and Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the country’s minister of defense. All three Venezuelan officials face allegations of narco-terrorism, drug trafficking and weapons violations in a scheme initiated in the mid-2000s that was meant to help the Colombian rebel group while enriching themselves with cocaine-tainted bribes, according to federal authorities."

Beyond the Narcostate Narrative: What U.S. Drug Trade Monitoring Data Says About Venezuela  3/11/2020 WOLA: "Recent data from the U.S. interagency Consolidated Counterdrug Database (CCDB) indicates that 210 metric tons of cocaine passed through Venezuela in 2018. By comparison, the State Department reports that over six times as much cocaine (1,400 metric tons) passed through Guatemala the same year."

GameChangers 2019: 10 Predictions for Organized Crime in 2020  1/24/2020 InSight Crime: [A fair assessment, except for the usual demonization of Venezuela, whose role can be likened to the artisanal one of the FARC in Colombia prior to the agreements there. The Colombian paramilitaries AUC, like their patron, the US, act on an industrial scale.]

Venezuela Neutralized 174 Narco-Aircrafts Since Chavez Expelled the DEA  11/28/2019 Orinoco Tribune: "Chavez said at the time that “the issue of the DEA is a matter of sovereignty that we had been monitoring, and it turns out that the DEA was using the fight against drug trafficking as a mask, to even support drug trafficking, to use intelligence in Venezuela against the government. “"

Drug trafficking through Venezuela has skyrocketed, says U.S. military chief  11/14/2019 Miami Herald: [The US governments own figures shows 90% of drugs entering the southern US border are coming through Honduras, a tightly controlled US colony.]

The Venezuelan Opposition’s Paramilitary Gambit  9/27/2019 CodePink: "The story behind the photographs is chilling. Guaidó went Colombia to attend a concert to raise funds for humanitarian aid on February 23, 2019, and to publicize the entry of US aid into Venezuela. The delivery of aid turned into a debacle, as opposition protesters on the Colombian side of the border burned aid trucks. According to Wilfredo Cañizares, the brave Colombian activist who broke the news, Guaidó entered Colombia with the help of Los Rastrojos, the Cúcuta mayor’s office and the Colombian Presidency, as locals were forced to stay inside for 24 hours so they would not witness the events. Days after Cañizares’ reporting, ‘Nandito’, a member of Los Rastrojos, corroborated and expanded on the story after being captured by Venezuelan authorities when he escaped an attempted hit by Los Rastrojos in Colombia. In retaliation for fleeing, four members of his family were murdered."

Media Continue to Push Misinformation About Venezuela and Drug Trafficking  9/24/2019 FAIR: "The Wall Street Journal (9/15/19) takes this “deep state” fan fiction genre to new heights with its latest on Venezuela, titled “Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez Worked to Flood US with Cocaine, US Prosecutors Say.” As advertised, the Journal’s Juan Forero echoes allegations against the Venezuelan government by US officials, which are contained in undisclosed “documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.”The Wall Street Journal (9/15/19) takes this “deep state” fan fiction genre to new heights with its latest on Venezuela, titled “Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez Worked to Flood US with Cocaine, US Prosecutors Say.” As advertised, the Journal’s Juan Forero echoes allegations against the Venezuelan government by US officials, which are contained in undisclosed “documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.”"

Colombia’s narcos put Elliott Abrams in checkmate, again  9/23/2019 Colombia Reports: "The last day of Guaido’s self-proclaimed presidency was a disaster. A border guard pulled the car key from the first truck of the aid convoy and that was it."

Venezuela's Guaidó pictured with members of Colombian gang  9/13/2019 Guardian: "The photos were published on Thursday by Wilfredo Cañizales, the director of a human rights group in Cúcuta, where February’s highly politicised concert was held. Speaking to the Guardian, Cañizales claimed the Rastrojos had imposed a curfew along the border before Guaidó’s crossing into Colombia “to make sure no locals would take photos of him crossing illegally through the hidden paths”." [This type of alliance between right wing politicians and drug traffickers is common in Colombia and Central America.]

Flight School Owner’s Plane Seized for Heroin Trafficking  7/27/2019 Daniel Hopsicker: "The flight plan of the Lear 35A originated in Venezuela and made a stop in Fort Lauderdale before landing in Orlando, with New York as its final destination. Eventually five people in Orlando were convicted in connection with the seizure, including two Venezuelans who were traveling aboard the jet when it landed at Orlando’s Executive Airport, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “It confirms the sad fact that a massive amount of heroin is coming through Central Florida,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Brent Eaton told the paper when the arrests were announced. “It’s very disturbing to the DEA that more and more high-quality heroin is coming from Colombia and at a cheaper price.”"

University of Ottawa Professor Melts Down at #HandsOffVenezuela Presentation  3/25/2019 Dimitri Lascaris: "Predictably, Nahon-Serfaty’s Postmedia op-eds agitate for foreign intervention in Venezuela and are replete with evidence-free attacks on Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro – for example, the wholly unsubstantiated claim that Nicolas Maduro presides over a “narco-dictatorship“."

Fiscal estadounidense presenta cargos contra Tareck El Aissami por "narcotráfico"  3/8/2019 Aporrea: "EEUU anunció este viernes que presentó cargos en contra del ministro del Poder Popular para Industrias y Producción Nacional de Venezuela y Vicepresidente para el Área Económica, Tareck El Aissami, por presunto narcotráfico." [La DEA podria hacer lo mismo con muchos narcos, pero no lo hace.]

World sees signs of breakdown of U.S. petrodollar system, former diplomat says  3/1/2019 World News Monitor: "The drug trade has historically supplied the CIA with local assets who have muscle. In the case of Venezuela: in 2007, in a U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Hugo Chavez, one figure involved was its asset General Ramon Guillén Davila, who earlier had been chief of a CIA-created anti-drug unit in Venezuela, [and] indicted in Miami for smuggling a ton of cocaine into the United States. According to the New York Times, “the CIA, over the objections of the Drug Enforcement Administration, approved the shipment of at least one ton of pure cocaine to Miami International Airport as a way of gathering information about the Colombian drug Cartels.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the total amount of drugs smuggled by General Guillén may have been more than 22 tons."

Venezuela’s Ex-Spy Chief Rejects Maduro, Accusing Leader’s Inner Circle of Corruption  2/21/2019 NYT: "A former intelligence chief in Venezuela who is one of the government’s most prominent figures turned against President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday, calling him a dictator with a corrupt inner circle that has engaged in drug trafficking and courted the militant group Hezbollah."

Elliott Abrams ‘Cabaled Quietly’ to Spring a CIA-Connected Drug Trafficker  2/15/2019 Deep State: "As part of the conspiracy, Abrams also put in a good word for a convicted drug trafficker, General Jose Bueso Rosa. He was a Honduran general who had helped the U.S. government with “sensitive operations” in Central America. As Murray Waas and I wrote in the Washington Post, North did “a favor for a felon.” So did Abrams."

Drug Trafficking Within the Venezuelan Regime: The ‘Cartel of the Suns’ Drug Trafficking Within the Venezuelan Regime: The ‘Cartel of the Suns’  5/17/2018 InSight Crime: Typical demonization of Venezuela, whose role can be likened to the artisanal one of the FARC in Colombia prior to the agreements there. The Colombian paramilitaries AUC, like their patron, the US, act on an industrial scale. The US has controlled the world's drug trade since WWII.]

7 Reasons for Describing Venezuela as a ‘Mafia State’  5/16/2018 Insight Crime: [Replete with the usual demonization, has some interesting data. Insight Crime never discusses how the US government implemented large scale cocaine trafficking from Colombia through Central America and Mexico. Felix Rodriguez, Che's murderer, was a key figure in this process.+

U.S. senators want probe of drug trafficking tied to Venezuela government  1/24/2018 Reuters: "In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seen by Reuters, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Robert Menendez said they were concerned about possible connections between Maduro’s government and drug trafficking organizations and wanted an investigation “in order to better understand the nexus between criminal actors and members of Maduro’s inner circle.” [We could start by investigating both senators for their ties to narco politicians.]

El comandante general del ejército viajó en avión rastreado por la DEA  9/4/2017 El Nacional: [La DEA defiende y protega a narcos grandes en Colombia, Honduras, Mexico y muchos otros paises. No tienen ningun credibilidad.]

How a Politician Accused of Drug Trafficking Became Venezuela’s Vice President  2/16/2017 NYT: [Perhaps NYT could investigate why Bill Clinton picked Colombian President Uribe as a partner in the drug war when the DIA listed him as a narcosenator and a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar. Or maybe why Hillary and Trump approve of the Honduran government which is riddled with narcos from the top on down…]

Pirates, Contraband, and Mega-Gangs in Venezuela  3/14/2016 Insight Crime: "From this peculiarity, the mega-gangs have formed alliances with similar groups that migrated from Colombia, and they have formed national cells of the Rastrojos and Urabeños. This also happened previously, with the so-called Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles). In Apure state, the Bolivarian Liberation Forces have evolved from a group of cattle rustlers and kidnappers — who burst onto the national scene during 1990s — to build a political base, which has allowed them to form alliances with municipal authorities throughout the state."

The Origins of Organized Crime in Venezuela  3/14/2016 Insight Crime: [The judicial police, formed under significant influences from French and US investigative agencies, relied almost totally on physical evidence. The police rarely delved into the investigative work that could uncover the existence of deeper and more profound criminal conspiracies. Until 2005, in Venezuela the legal concept of organized crime was limited to conspiracy, as it was defined and sanctioned in the penal code. Venezuela was a signatory to the 2000 United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, but it had not developed a single law to adopt the protocols outlined in the convention. Technically, before 2005, Venezuelan law ruled out the existence of organized crime. How could they talk about organized crime if there was no law that explicitly defined it as a crime?"

Traficantes deportados desde Venezuela no mencionan a Diosdado sino a jefes militares de Uribe Velez  5/31/2015 Aporrea: "Por el contrario en uno de los casos, es un general colombiano, que durante el gobierno de Alvaro Uribe dirigió la unidad antinarcóticos de Colombia, quien estaba vinculado con el principal acusado por la justicia estadounidense, Luis Frank Tello Candelo, según los testimonios y pruebas ofrecidas por un ex oficial de policía que trabajaba para los carteles de Cali y el norte del Valle, según informó el diario El Espectador el 3 de julio de 2012."

Facts About the Media Garbage Against Diosdado Cabello  5/28/2015 Venezuela Analysis: "Yesterday (May 18) the Wall Street Journal published a news story at the same time that the State Department expressed its "concern" over freedom of speech in Venezuela. The report is based on supposed "investigations" conducted by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and Miami prosecutors trying to link Diosdado (Cabello) with drug trafficking. The information presented by the US media outlet is a mix of anonymous opinions, value judgements by US anti-drug officials, declarations lacking any kind of time sequence and unproven speculations about Diosdado Cabello."

Venezuelan Officials Suspected of Turning Country into Global Cocaine Hub  5/18/2015 Wall Street Journal: "U.S. prosecutors are investigating several high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the country’s congress, on suspicion that they have turned the country into a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to more than a dozen people familiar with the probes."

It's 'Deja Coup' All Over Again - DEA to Hugo Chavez: "Find Your Own Trampoline"  12/6/2010 MadCow Morning News: "An investigation into the indictment for drug trafficking last month of a former crony of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has revealed a case of “deja coup all over again." Makled-Garcia is accused of being behind a drug move on May 10 2009 which ended in the fatal crash of a Jetstream 19-passenger turbo-prop airliner carrying 1.5 tons of cocaine, on Utila, one of the Bay Islands just off Honduras' northern coast."

Venezuelans Seize 2 Tons of Drugs on Colombian Border  9/19/2010 Inside Costa Rica 

Venezuela cataloga como cínico e hipócrita informe de EE UU sobre narcotráfico mundial  9/17/2009 Aporrea: "El ministro venezolano del Interior, Tarek El Aissami, rechazó y catalogó de cínico e hipócrita, este jueves, el informe estadounidense que "descertifica" a Venezuela, junto a Bolivia y Birmania en la lucha contra el tráfico de drogas. "Rechazamos ese informe que raya lo inmoral, es cínico e hipócrita, y lo condenamos", sentenció El Aissami en una rueda de prensa donde también expresó su opinión respecto al incremento que Estados Unidos ha tenido en la producción, tráfico y consumo de estupefacientes, por lo que consideró que deberían revisar las políticas que les "han impulsado a ese fracaso".

Links between Colombian Intelligence Organisation and Venezuelan Opposition Uncovered  9/10/2009 Trinicenter: "The AUC were a phenomenon that was changed by they looked for cultivation and smuggling zones, so this is what permeated the [border] zone, including today [the phenomenon] is still present in [Venezulean border state] Tachira with [paramilitary group] the Black Eagles."

Drug pilot, election exec killed on CIA plane  5/7/2008 Mad Cow Morning News: "The downed plane's relevance to the ongoing story of vote fraud in America involves the identity of it's passenger, Jose Alfredo Anzola, a 34-year old founder of Smartmatic, a Venezuela-based election company whose American subsidiary counted one in every three votes in the 2004 Presidential election, while engaged the whole time in heated controversy over allegations the firm counting America's votes had hidden ties to—of all people— Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. The connection between last week's plane crash and the ongoing saga of CIA Drug trafficking begins with 43-year old Mario Donadi Gafaro, the veteran drug pilot at the controls of the twin engine plane."

Venezuela bombs drug runways near Colombia border  3/28/2008 Reuters: "Traffickers often use illegal runaways to land aircraft packed with drugs en route to the United States or Europe. The army plans to destroy dozens of border runways in coming days. Chavez says U.S. accusations about his country's drugs record are untrue and aimed at discrediting him. Although he refuses to sign an anti-drug cooperation agreement with Washington, Venezuela frequently extradites Colombians accused of drug crimes to the United States."

Bush Administration Seeks to Declare Venezuela a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” - Rising Tensions May Be Tied to Covert Drug Operations Reported by Narco News  3/17/2008 Global Research: "In other words, the U.S. State Department is using Uribe's "dodgy dossier" as a pretext for sanctions and embargoes against the Bolivarian republic. If implemented, such restrictions would severely limit the ability of U.S. firms to do business with Caracas while making it nearly impossible for Venezuela to export oil to the United States or import vital spare parts necessary to keep the economy going."

VENEZUELA: Guns, drugs and thugs: the threat from Plan Colombia  3/17/2008 Green Left, Australia: published 17/11/93

U.S. Cocaine-Plane Invasion Spooking Latin America - Trail of Evidence Points to Major Covert Operation Targeting Venezuela  3/17/2008 NarcoNews: "Two Florida-based companies that have exported a total of at least 11 aircraft to Venezuelan buyers since 2003 are linked to four cocaine planes and what appears to be an elaborate covert intelligence operation, an ongoing Narco News investigation shows. The covert program, law enforcement sources contend, likely involves the CIA and components of Defense Department intelligence agencies, and is focused, in part, on penetrating, or even propping up, narco-trafficking groups in Venezuela. That country’s outspoken leader, Hugo Chávez, is regularly demonized by U.S. policymakers for, among other things, supposedly allowing his country to become a haven for narco-traffickers. The operation also appears to prioritize intelligence objectives over law enforcement goals, which means tons of cocaine might well be getting a free pass into the United States."

Chavez Denounces Colombian Paramilitary Activity in Venezuela  2/12/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "The president made reference Sunday to a study of Columbian paramilitary activity titled The Business of War, written by Caracas-based German Political Scientist Darío Azzellini. In an interview on the Venezuelan Social TV station (TVES) Sunday night, Azzellini reported that paramilitary operations are carried out by mercenaries from the U.S. and Latin America who are recruited by private military companies but pose as civilian employees. Beyond government oversight, they are contracted by large landowners, business owners, and other elites to control local populations. A principal source of paramilitary income is their control of 100% of Colombian heroine exports and 70% of Colombian cocaine exports, Azzellini claimed. In Colombia, giant drug cartels manage large quantities of the drugs, but in Venezuela paramilitaries deal smaller amounts in local communities to increase their leverage within the populations they are contracted to control. Chavez and Azzellini publicized this “open secret” at a time of heated opposition accusations that Chávez does not sufficiently cooperate in combating drug trafficking through Venezuelan territory. ...Nonetheless, paramilitaries in Venezuela are known for “social cleansing,” or the hired killing of local community members, says the Ezequiel Zamora National Farmers’ Front (FNCEZ), an organization that defends the rights of rural communities. Since an agrarian reform law favorable to rural workers was passed by the Chávez administration in 2001, paramilitaries have murdered 190 rural community members who dared to stand up to the owners of plantations, milk factories, and mines. The most recent killings were last month, when Municipal Legislator Freddy Ascaño and Community Council Federation President Alfredo Montiel were executed by paramilitaries in their municipality of Tucaní, south of Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela, the local population reported to the FNCEZ. Paramilitary groups and their powerful contractors have also purchased farms beyond the border region of Venezuela, in the state of Guárico, the FNCEZ alleges. They use the lands for military training and the elaboration of their business in drugs, food, and gasoline contraband. Operations are facilitated by “miniscule sectors” of the local police, the National Guard, and other federal security forces that have been drawn into the paramilitary activity."

CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela  11/30/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "The document confirms that psychological operations are the CIA's best and most effective weapon to date against Venezuela, and it will continue its efforts to influence international public opinion regarding President Chavez and the situation in the country. Operation Tenaza is a very alarming plan that aims to destabilize Venezuela and overthrow (again) its legitimate and democratic (and very popularly support) president. The plan will fail, primarily because it has been discovered, but it must be denounced around the world as an unacceptable violation of Venezuela's sovereignty."

Venezuelan Opposition Protesters Shoot Chavez Supporter  11/28/2007 Venezuela Analysis: ""There were four of us, trying to carry our friend to the community, but they surrounded us throwing bottles. I took the opportunity to move him [Oliveros] because they were going to hit him with a bottle in the face and I moved him so it did not hit him in the face. He had one bullet in the leg, a man from the local community was going to carry him, but in this moment they shot him twice in the back and this is when he fell to the ground." "We pleaded with them for the life of our friend that was lying bloody on the ground, to please allow us the opportunity to pick him up and they responded that now they were coming for us, that they were coming for me," Borges added."

Counterattack as Fateful Referendum Looms - CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces  11/28/2007 CounterPunch: "The memo then recommends that Operation Pincer (OP) [Operación Tenaza] be operationalized. OP involves a two-pronged strategy of impeding the referendum, rejecting the outcome at the same time as calling for a 'no' vote. The run up to the referendum includes running phony polls, attacking electoral officials and running propaganda through the private media accusing the government of fraud and calling for a 'no' vote. Contradictions, the report emphasizes, are of no matter. The CIA-Embassy reports internal division and recriminations among the opponents of the amendments including several defections from their 'umbrella group'. The key and most dangerous threats to democracy raised by the Embassy memo point to their success in mobilizing the private university students (backed by top administrators) to attack key government buildings including the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council. The Embassy is especially full of praise for the ex-Maoist 'Red Flag' group for its violent street fighting activity. Ironically, small Trotskyist sects and their trade unionists join the ex-Maoists in opposing the constitutional amendments. The Embassy, while discarding their 'Marxist rhetoric', perceives their opposition as fitting in with their overall strategy."

Operación Tenaza: Informe confidencial de la CIA devela plan de saboteo al referéndum del 2 de diciembre  11/27/2007 Aporrea 

A warning sign?  11/16/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "In the lead up to last year’s presidential elections some pipe bombs were set off near military bases and at the Central University of Venezuela. As I wrote in my blog post yesterday “Whilst there is much to be optimistic about given the beginning of the campaign [in favour of the reform], this also means that Venezuela has entered into a new more dangerous phase. I think even the opposition know they will lose, but they also know that perhaps more is at stake now than in any other electoral process until now. This means they will try everything – including acts of violence and terrorism – to try and impede the referendum going ahead”."

Venezuela Increasingly A Conduit For Cocaine  10/28/2007 WaPo: "Now, however, the volume of cocaine trafficked through Venezuela has risen sharply. Shipments have increased significantly, with suspected northbound drug flights out of the country increasing threefold from 2003 to 2006, according to American radar tracking. Counter-drug officials say up to 220 tons of cocaine -- a third of what Colombia produces -- now pass through Venezuela, double the figure in the 1990s. Most of it is bound for the United States and burgeoning markets in Spain, Britain and Italy. The traffickers have operated with illegally obtained Venezuelan identification cards from agencies as varied as the National Guard, the DISIP intelligence agency and even the economy ministry, all while living in some of the finest neighborhoods in the Venezuelan capital, according to authorities in Bogota, the Colombian capital, and in Caracas. The trend has led to spiraling turf wars among drug gangs in Caracas slums and has directly challenged the government's ability to rein in corruption. "The problem of drugs has gotten out of the hands of Venezuela," said Mildred Camero, a former drug czar in President Hugo Ch¿vez's government and now a consultant on narcotics to the United Nations, the United States and private industry. "Now the situation in Venezuela is grave, grave, grave," Camero added. "At some moment, we're going to collapse." In an interview, Venezuelan Attorney General Isa¿as Rodr¿guez characterized the corruption as isolated and said the government has made fighting the drug trade a priority. But he acknowledged the problem and said traffickers have corrupted some Venezuelan officials while working hand in hand with others. "In the DISIP, which is the intelligence police, and undoubtedly in some sectors of the National Guard, there is complacency or participation in drug trafficking," Rodr¿guez said. "And not just them, but civil officials at airports.""

Venezuela Dismisses U.S. Criticism on Cooperation against Drug Trafficking  9/19/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "Venezuelan Minister of Justice Pedro Carreño, reaffirmed yesterday that Venezuela is not disposed to work with the DEA. In May Carreño had accused the DEA of operating as a "drug cartel." He added that Venezuelan authorities had "determined that via this organization [the DEA], a large quantity of drugs left our country by way of the delivery of confiscations, of which we were never informed." Ever since Venezuela broke off relations with the DEA the U.S. government has repeatedly made allegations that Venezuelan authorities are not doing enough to combat drug trafficking. However, Venezuelan authorities have repeatedly rejected the claims. According to Venezuela's National Anti-Drug office, drug interdictions increased from 43.2 tons in 2004, to 77 tons in 2005. For 2006 Venezuelan authorities captured 60.3 tons and Minister Carreño added that security forces have confiscated 33.8 tons of drugs so far this year."

Venezuela Accuses U.S. DEA of Being a “Drug Cartel”  5/8/2007 Venezuela Analysis: "¨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 yesterday. 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 “drug cartel.” 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." "

TONS OF COCAINE: CARACAS TO WASHINGTON By Peter Dale Scott, PhD  9/22/2006 From the Wilderness: "Dr. Peter Dale Scott – deconstructs the recent propaganda directed by Washington in an attempt to implicate Hugo Chavez in a 2.2-ton shipment of cocaine. After Scott wrote this response to a story posted at, it was revealed that the facts surrounding how the seizure of that shipment went down are anything but clear."

5 1/2 Tons of Cocaine Found on Venezuela Plane  4/11/2006 AP: "Mexican soldiers seized 5 1/2 tons of cocaine from a commercial plane arriving from Venezuela, Mexico's Defense Department announced Tuesday. The army was waiting for the plane on Monday at the airport of Cuidad de Carmen, 550 miles east of Mexico City, after receiving information from Venezuelan and U.S. authorities, Gen. Carlos Gaytan told a news conference… A U.S. State Department report released in March said that Venezuela has become a key transit point for drugs because of "rampant corruption at the highest levels of law enforcement and a weak judicial system." Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suspended cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in August, accusing its agents of spying."

Venezuela Refuses to Extradite Man Wanted in the US for Drug Trafficking  3/29/2006 Venezuela Analysis: "In a move likely further increase friction in the already tense relations between Venezuela and the US, Venezuela released Mateo Holguin Ovalle, a Dominican wanted by the US for drug trafficking. The decision was based on a Venezuelan law which requires extradition for those wanted for organized crime, except in cases where the receiving country does not guarantee not to apply the death penalty, life imprisonment, or a sentence that exceeds 30 years, according to a release by Supreme Court Judge Héctor Coronado Flores. The move comes exactly a week after Venezuela’s embassy in the US put out a strongly worded statement asking the US to either extradite or prosecute Posada Carriles, an anti-Castro terrorism suspect. Previously, a US judge had ruled that Carriles could not be extradited to Venezuela, on the grounds that he may be tortured here."

Venezuelan police arrest Carlos Ojeda; top drug lord wanted by the US DEA!  2/12/2006 Vheadline 

Venezuela clinches Spain defence deal  11/29/2005 FT: "José Bono, Spanish defence minister, defended Spain’s right to sell the military hardware to Venezuela and insisted that the equipment was of a defensive nature. Washington could still block the inclusion of some US-made components in the equipment. Mr Bono said neither the boats nor transport aircraft were armed and that the patrol aircraft were only equipped for self-defence. He also suggested the US had no right to pass judgment. Mr Chávez has said the vessels and aircraft will be used to combat the drug trade in Venezuela, which borders Colombia, the world’s top cocaine producer."

Nuevo giro en asesinato de fiscal venezolano  11/10/2005 Nuevo Herald: "Un testigo del gobierno de Venezuela en la investigación de la muerte del fiscal Danilo Anderson, aseguró que un director del FBI de apellido Pesquera y un funcionario de la CIA a quien sólo identificó como Morrison, participaron en una reunión en Panamá en la que se planeó el asesinato del funcionario… Vásquez, quien se identificó como médico colombiano militante de las Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), dijo que Pesquera y Morrison estuvieron presentes entre el 4 y el 6 de septiembre del 2003 en una reunión que se realizó en Darién, una provincia panameña limítrofe con Colombia. A la misma reunión asistieron además, según Vásquez, la periodista Patricia Poleo como representante del Movimiento Libertad; Salvador Romaní, hijo del líder anticastrista del mismo nombre que actualmente reside en Miami; los ex policías Rolando Guevara, Otoniel Guevara y Pedro Lander; el actor Orlando Urdaneta, el capitán Luis García como representante de la organización anticastrista Comando F4, e Israel Pincheski como representante de los banqueros. ''Allí se discutió el plan apoyado por el FBI y la CIA'', continuó Vásquez, ``y algunos presidentes de medios de comunicación para sacar a Chávez del gobierno. En esa misma reunión se dice que el objetivo final era matar al presidente Chávez, al fiscal general y a un connotado líder opositor de apellido Mendoza''."

U.S. Decertifies Venezuela on Drug Control  9/16/2005 Narcosphere: "It would seem, then, that the White House and State Department are using the drug war pretext to begin what could evolve into a Cuba-style economic blockade of Venezuela. At the very least, they are employing a tool that in the past has been quite effective for the political isolation of other countries, and, in the case of Panama in 1989, was part of the run-up to U.S. military invasion."

Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela's president  8/22/2005 Media Matters: "He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent. You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Specter meets Venezuelan leaders, discusses U.S. anti-drug agency  8/18/2005 AP 

Venezuela Says DEA Stole Equipment  8/18/2005 Venezuela Analysis: "The director of Venezuela’s drug control agency, the National Commission Against Illicit Drug Use (Conacuid), Luis Correa, said that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) removed equipment from the building it shared with Conacuid. Correa said the equipment involved 13 devices for tapping cell phone systems, which the DEA had donated to Conacuid several years ago."

Venezuela says Americans could be denied visas  8/12/2005 AP: "Rangel said DEA agents in Venezuela also worked with "unacceptable autonomy" while "detaining and interrogating Venezuelans" without notifying Venezuelan authorities. The vice president said DEA agents maintained "strange ties" with drug traffickers in Venezuela, which often serves as a corridor for Colombian cocaine destined for the United States and Europe."

Chavez revokes US agent immunity  8/12/2005 BBC: "Caracas has withdrawn the diplomatic immunity of US anti-drugs officials working in Venezuela. It follows a move by the US State Department to revoke the visas of six Venezuelan officials in Washington. Both countries are locked in a row after President Hugo Chavez accused the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of spying on his government."

U.S. mulls sanctions on Venezuela over drug move  8/8/2005 Reuters 

Chavez Accuses U.S. Drug Agents of Spying  8/8/2005 LA Times 

Vice-President Responds to Otto Reich, Denies Venezuela is “Cubanizing”  7/13/2005 Venezuela Analysis: "Holding up statistics that showed that in the first semester of 2005 Venezuelan authorities seized double of the amount of drugs that were confiscated during the corresponding time period in 2004, Rangel toyed with, and then dismissed, the idea that the US ambassador to Venezuela did not have access to this information. “This [lack of information] is not the custom among these ambassadors,” he affirmed, adding that “generally U.S. ambassadors have good information in the countries in which they are present.” The Venezuelan Vice President went on to add that these statistics “reveal that there is efficient work on the part of Venezuelan authorities and that, in second place, I must say that due to agreements with the U.S. there are twelve offices of the DEA operating in the national territory, the majority in Caracas.” Rangel then alleged that Brownfield’s statements prove that he is taking an active role in the U.S. orchestrated “campaign” intended to “strike Venezuela in the fight against drug trafficking.” "

Venezuela's Public Defender German Mundarain denounces US interference in paramilitary case  5/12/2004 Vheadlines: "The maximum defender of human rights said that he’s convinced that “there are (local) groups who are conniving with traditional terrorist and criminal groups.” He added that he is fed up with knowing how paramilitary groups operate in the world, principally in Colombia, almost always with funding from drug trafficking; they are permanently dedicated to developing terrorist acts."

Denuncian vínculos de sobrino de Rafael Poleo con el narcotráfico  2/4/2003 Aporrea: "Estimados compatriotas, recurrimos a ustedes para efectuar esta denuncia de suma gravedad, conscientes de que los medios de “información” nacionales harán hasta lo imposible por evitar su publicación, ya que las PRUEBAS aquí contenidas involucran a uno de los grupos económico-mediáticos mas poderosos e influyentes dentro de la Coordinadora Democrática: El Grupo Poleo, dueños de El Nuevo País." Old patterns repeating themselves…

What are these 'other threats' to Colombia's Security?  4/27/2002 Z Mag: "In April 10, 2000 the US senator Coverdell said that it would be necessary to intervene militarily in Colombia-- to control Venezuela! It's highly likely that this 'mico' added on to the law was added in order to prepare a military aggression against the Chavez government. If the war against drugs was a pretext for a war against the insurgency, now the armed conflict in Colombia has become a pretext for an attack on Venezuela and against the Chavez government."

Links/Enlacestop  tends to be biased in favor of the US government, but not always. Funded by Open Societies Foundation (George Soros), Germany, Sweden, the UK, and American University.  Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)

TrAnsnATIOnAl OrgAnIzed CrIme In CenTrAl AmerICA And The CArIBBeAn, 2017

From Oliver North Diaries with Note by Cele Castillo, DEA

The CIA & Drugs - Narco-colonialism in the 20th Century  this account is biased in favor of CIA   this account is biased in favor of CIA

Narco Colombia

Felix Rodriguez: the Cuban CIA agent who killed Che and went on to found the modern Colombia - Central America - Mexico drug trafficking network


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