Caracas, Venezuela, August 11, 2005 —Venezuela is willing to work with the DEA, but only under a new agreement that would subordinate its operations under Venezuelan norms, principles, and laws, said Interior and Justice Minister Jesse Chacon today. If the DEA “accepts Venezuelan parameters, then, I repeat, we are prepared to work in coordination with them,” said Chacon.
According to Chacon, one of the main issues is that in the building that houses Venezuela’s anti-drug trafficking agency, Conacuid, there is a floor that is used by the DEA, where it does not allow any Venezuelans to enter. “We demand [of the U.S.] that they would please open this floor,” said Chacon. “The day that the DEA allows us to open up a floor in the DEA’s building [in the U.S.], where only Venezuelans are allowed to enter, we will allow them to open a floor where only North-Americans are allowed to enter into Conacuid, in the meantime no,” added Chacon.
Chacon also said that he was quite certain that the United States would decertify Venezuela in its annual evaluation of how well countries cooperate with the U.S. in the fight against drug trafficking. The U.S. government intends to decertify Venezuela because so far they have not found any other means to slow down the sovereign process that is developing in Venezuela. He did not believe that such decertification would be too serious, though.
Venezuela’s work against drug trafficking has been very strong and often better than in many other countries around the world, said Chacon.
The blame for the regions drug trafficking problems are actually to be found in the United States and not in Venezuela, which is merely a transit point, emphasized Chacon. “The big consumers of the world are in North America and in Europe, not in Venezuela. The day that they get rid of their social problems that bring about these high levels of drug consumption is when drug consumption will be eliminated,” said Chacon.