Venuezuela, the Farc, and cocaine


The Guardian reports on collusion between Colombia’s Farc and the Venezuela military, saying Venezuela is being used as the primary shipping point of Columbian cocaine out of South America. Given the amounts of money involved, it would seem naive or deliberately evasive to pretend such corruption couldn’t exist.

No source I spoke to accused Chávez himself of having a direct role in Colombia’s giant drug-trafficking business. Yet the same people I interviewed struggled to believe that Chávez was not aware of the collusion between his armed forces and the leadership of Farc, as they also found it difficult to imagine that he has no knowledge of the degree to which Farc is involved in the cocaine trade.

Were Chavez to interfere in the drug trade and corruption too overtly maybe the military, or at least parts of it, wouldn’t remain loyal to him.

A European diplomat with many years of experience in Latin America echoed this view. ‘The so-called anti-imperialist, socialist and Bolivarian nation that Chávez says he wants to create is en route to becoming a narco-state in the same way that Farc members have turned themselves into narco-guerrillas. Perhaps Chávez does not realise it but, unchecked, this phenomenon will corrode Venezuela like a cancer.

While the diplomat seems no friend of Chavez, he does have a point.

P.S.  No Mas FARC or Pizzo.