Like its communist colonial masters in Cuba, the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela is making billions of dollars trafficking narcotics.
Narcotrafficking Is Venezuela’s War Weapon in the Region, Experts Say
The tentacles of narcotrafficking in South America have reached into all sectors of society and in some cases, have defeated entire governments that now sponsor the activity and attempt to destabilize the region, analysts interviewed by Voice of America say.
Martín Rodíl, a specialist in organized crime and narcotrafficking, says that Venezuela went from being a country with the presence of narcotrafficking groups to a “narcostate” under former President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013).
“What’s new is the role of Venezuela as a state and not as a country with criminal organizations, but as a state sponsoring them,” said Rodíl in VOA’s program Inter-American Forum.
Analysts agreed that the Venezuelan and Cuban governments sponsor cocaine trafficking to finance destabilizing operations in countries of the region and undermine the continent’s democratic institutions.
Hugo Chávez, the ghost
For Leandro Coutinho, writer and investigative journalist who specializes in transnational crime and hemispheric security, Venezuela is more than a narcostate.
“In Venezuela, the destructions come from narcotraffickers. The Venezuelan state carries out narcotrafficking,” Coutinho added.
Coutinho insists that Chávez was the main architect behind the new narcotrafficking routes, while the current regime of Nicolás Maduro continues to operate them.
“Chávez has created a very important cocaine route toward the Northern Triangle, toward Central America and Mexico. He did so jointly with Cuba, as a way to destabilize the region and affect the United States,” the expert said.
Coutinho warned that narcotrafficking causes instability and chaos, undermining the institutional foundations of democracies. “Narcotrafficking is a war weapon. That’s how Fidel [Castro] won Hugo Chávez over.”
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