Chávez: DEA "Supports Narco-Trafficking" in Venezuela
Venezuela President Hugo Chávez, after voting today in municipal elections (5,999 municipal council seats, plus one regional governor's post are at stake: pro-Chávez candidates are widely expected to sweep what will be, now, the ninth national vote since Chávez's 1998 electoral victory), explained, in more detail, why Venezuela has launched an investigation into the conduct of officials of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in national territory.
Associated Press reports (so far in Spanish only) that Chávez told reporters:
"The DEA was using the fight against narco-trafficking as a mask to, among other things, support narco-trafficking, in order to conduct intelligence operations against the government."
The Venezuelan president said that in the coming days he will announce a decision about future cooperation with the US drug enforcement agency.
More at the jump... Chávez continued:
"It's necessary to remember that the top drug consumer in the world is the United States, and that the governments and institutions of the United States do little to stop the consumption of drugs."
Chávez, according to AP, said that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) don't attack the financing and profits from drug trafficking:
"How strange that they don't discover it! With so much intelligence capacity, intelligence agencies like the CIA, no? It's able to divine that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!"
Venezuelan prosecutors have accused the DEA of "illegal operations" in the country, and have announced that changes are coming in what the Venezuelan government will tolerate in terms of DEA activity, and what it will not.
And so, once again, the dichotomy between democracy and the drug war flares up. This time, though, it might even happen on TV.