Venezuelan guards escort a man suspected of drug trafficking to a plane for deportation to Colombia in May.
Venezuela is fast becoming a major hub for cocaine trafficking in the Western Hemisphere, according to a report written by the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. The report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office is sure to raise tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. at a delicate moment in the two countries' often testy relations.
Rather than hysterically attack or defend either party, I thought this following sentence interesting, all the more in having been reading Gringo (an 'anti-imperialist' tract by Chesa Boudin that I found tiring in its constant self-righteous lecturing, and put down):
The biggest problem: corruption of Venezuelan officials at all levels, according to the report. 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." In some cases, the report says, drugs captured by the National Guard and Venezuela's Investigative Police, who are often themselves involved in drug trafficking, aren't destroyed, but are taken by the officials or returned to drug traffickers.
Boudin discussed that very concept, of Chávez constructing (perhaps erecting would be fitting) a parallel government bureaucracy that reports directly to him.