The following is comment made earlier this week from Internationalist Pedro Mario Burelli reacting to U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar's report on drug trafficking and Venezuela:
From Petrostate to Narcostate: Venezuela High on Drugs according to GAO Report (WSJ, FT, El País)
"The findings of this report have heightened my concern that Venezuela's failure to cooperate with the United States on drug interdiction is related to corruption in that country's government," says Sen. Lugar.
Quoting from the WSJ story: "Corruption within the Venezuelan National Guard "poses the most significant threat," the report says, because the "Guard reports directly to President Chávez and controls Venezuela's airports, borders and ports.
All of what is being reported comes as no surprise to many Venezuelans. For a decade the penetration of the drug business into regular day-to-day life has been fomented by senior government officials who are confident their misdeeds will go unreported and unpunished.
The report will present the Obama administration yet another test as to the fundamental nature of rogue states. Seeking to maintain good relationship with a country that does not want to discuss any of the sore subjects soiling its bilateral relationship with Washington (among others) is foolhardy. The real challenge is how to prosecute criminal behavior without empowering a regime that thrives on vitriolic US-is-at-fault victimization. It is about time that those who appease Mr. Chávez (Mr. Lula first and foremost) realize they are not only accessories to the wanton destruction of Venezuelan democracy, but also complicit in the transformation of the country into a crumbling, yet worrisome, narcostate. PMB
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