Venezuela Rejects “Aggressive” Accusations by US Official Brownfield on Drug Trafficking

The Venezuelan government recently condemned accusations made by US official William Brownfield regarding drugs transit in Venezuela as “A new aggression from Washington against the Venezuelan people, based on lies and defamation.”


Mérida, 11th November (– The Venezuelan government recently condemned accusations made by US official William Brownfield regarding drugs transit in Venezuela as “A new aggression from Washington against the Venezuelan people, based on lies and defamation,” while pointing to Venezuela’s internationally acclaimed record on combating trafficking.

“In one of his accustomed media antics, the Sub-Secretary Brownfield formulated the type of baseless accusation that resulted in his repudiation by the Venezuelan people during his stay here in our country,” stated the official communication released on Wednesday, referring to Brownfield’s service as US ambassador to Venezuela between 2004 and 2007.

“It is this type of aggression and unfounded accusation that constitute the main obstacle for the existence of normal bilateral relations with the US,” the statement concluded. 

Brownfield, the current US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, declared that in the last five years, “We’ve seen an explosion, I repeat an explosion, of illicit drug transit from Venezuela to outer markets,” in a press conference from US Southern Command headquarters in Miami last Tuesday.

“I think the main reason…is the lack of cooperation from Venezuelan agencies with the rest of the international community to confront and control illegal drug trafficking,” he continued, adding that US relations with Venezuela are generally “complicated” and “limited.”

Venezuela’s National Assembly yesterday also adopted an accord that refuted the declarations, with socialist legislator Orángel López opining that Brownfield’s attack was aimed at destabilising the government of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

He added that US foreign policy sought to provoke a crisis of governability in Venezuela with the hope of justifying military intervention.

During his service as US ambassador, Brownfield was accused of attempting to destabilise the Chavez government, with Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolas Maduro commenting on his departure in 2007 that he “came to Venezuela with only one mission: to destabilise the government…to aid in its overthrow.”

In April 2006 Chavez threatened to expel Brownfield from the country for “provoking the Venezuelan people.”

Recently declassified US diplomatic cables released by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks reveal that while in his post, Brownfield saw his role as countering the growing influence of the Chavez government in Latin America.

In 2006, he supported US military naval manoeuvres in the Caribbean, hoping that Chavez would “take the bait” and denounce US aggression, thus appearing “at best silly and at worst clinically paranoid”, adding that the situation “is a win-win for us”.

Of Brownfield’s comments this week, Chavez stated “he is a ridiculous figure, when he was here, they threw tomatoes at him,” in reference to an incident on 7 April 2006 in Caracas when demonstrators threw tomatoes, eggs and rubbish at Brownfield’s diplomatic caravan.

Venezuela’s “successful” and “effective” anti-trafficking policies

Venezuelan authorities also stressed that Venezuela has developed “the widest policy of international cooperation in the fight against narco-trafficking with governments authentically interested in defeating this evil and not in destabilising our political system or controlling our security policies” and designated the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as “an international drug trafficking cartel”.

The DEA was ordered by Chavez to leave Venezuela in 2005 after it was alleged that some members of the agency were infiltrating government intelligence and trying to destabilise the country.

Venezuelan Justice and Interior Relations Minister Tareck El Aissami yesterday stressed Venezuela’s “successful” and “effective” policies in combating narco-trafficking, commenting it was “ridiculous” of Brownfield to try and disqualify Venezuela’s efforts in that area.

“It would be good if this spokesperson for the empire studied the UN’s world drug report, when it is the US that is the principal producer of marijuana and the leading consumer of every type of drug”, he continued.

According to the 2011 UN World Drug Report, Venezuela has one of the highest seizure rates of illegal substances in the world. It is also the leading country in South America for seizures of crack, and 3rd after Colombia and Ecuador for seizures of base and powder cocaine.

Venezuela has been classified by the UN as free of illegal cultivation for 6 consecutive years.

El Aissami further pointed out that since the DEA left over 60 high level narco-traffickers had been captured and deported from Venezuela.