Monday, January 21, 2008

Do these people look like "victims" to you? 

Just the other day after noting that a Wall Street Journal investigative article on the drug trade and money laundering didn't once mention Venezuela I noted that U.S. government officials were "concacting reports telling us just how in the middle of all this Venezuela really is".

And, as if on cue, it would appear they were:

BOGOTA (Reuters) - The United States accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday of allowing his country to become a haven for international cocaine trafficking by neglecting to tackle the problem.

Venezuela has long been a transit route for cocaine manufactured in neighboring Colombia, the world's No. 1 producer of the illegal white powder, that ends up in the United States and Europe.

But U.S. officials say Venezuela's role in the cocaine trade has expanded to make it a major drug shipment route.

"At a point where neglect becomes complicity, it is an active policy not to engage and deal with this problem," John Walters, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, told Reuters in Bogota.

"I think it is about time to face up to the fact that President Chavez is becoming a major facilitator of the transit of cocaine to Europe and other parts of this hemisphere."

Walters estimated annual cocaine shipments through Venezuela were now more than 200 metric tons. Colombia produces at least 600 tons a year, most of which goes to U.S. and European markets.

Of course, one could ask where he got those numbers from. Who knows? They probably just made them up.

Regardless, that isn't what was really interesting in the article. What I found fascinating/perplexing was this:

"He is making Venezuela into a haven, he is making a haven that is being used to victimize not only this hemisphere but Europe and Africa," Walters said.

Victimize?!?!? Who is being victimized?!?!?!? Does this person look like a victim to you?

The unwillingness of gringos to accept responsibility for their own problems is amazing. Pretty soon we will probably be hearing how the housing bubble was the fault of the Asian countries who were giving the U.S. too much cheap capital!


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