Venezuela Rejects Critical US Drugs Report

The Venezuelan government has branded the Obama administration's international policy as “abusive” after a drugs report issued by the White House on Friday stated that the Chavez administration had “failed” to adequately tackle the drugs trade.

By Rachael Boothroyd
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The Venezuelan Ministry for Foreign Relations released a statement rejecting the Obama administration's report (AVN)
The Venezuelan Ministry for Foreign Relations released a statement rejecting the Obama administration's report (AVN)

Caracas, September 17th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government has branded the Obama administration's international policy as “abusive” after a drugs report issued by the White House on Friday stated that the Chavez administration had “failed” to adequately tackle the drugs trade.

The report, entitled the “Presidential Determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries”, places Venezuela on a list of countries, including Bolivia, which have not made sufficient progress in combating the international narcotics industry. The document also accuses Venezuela of having a “weak judicial system, inconsistent international counter-narcotics co-operation and generally permissive and corrupt environment”.

“Venezuela regrets that the United States government insists on undermining the field of bilateral relations with the publication of these kinds of documents,” said the country's Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, who classified the report as “biased”.

The government also promptly issued a statement rejecting the document, describing it as “riddled with false statements” and confirming its own commitment to implementing a “sovereign and effective policy in the struggle against drugs trafficking”. The statement also places the blame for the continued strength of the drugs industry on the US, which it states has become “the world's biggest market for drugs”.

“The U.S. government lacks the moral authority to judge the policies of other countries on the issue of the fight against drug trafficking... By tolerating the corruption that turns its borders into sites where illicit substances flow, and allowing money from drug trafficking to be laundered through its financial system, the U.S. government bears the most responsibility for this plague that wracks the whole world,” reads the statement.

The Venezuelan government's criticism of the report was also echoed by Bolivian President, Evo Morales, who accused the US government of being hypocritical in its stance on the international drugs trade.

“There is no fight against the drugs trade in the United States, what there is is an attempt to take advantage of the fight against the drugs trade in some countries for their own [the US] political ends, so that there is more military funding and more military bases,” said Morales.

The Venezuelan government broke ties with the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2005 after DEA officials were accused of spying in the country. The government has continued to work with other international drugs monitoring bodies, such as those from France and Russia, and has stated that it has made more progress in the fight against drugs since DEA representatives were expelled.

In 2011 the government seized over 42 tonnes of drugs as part of its counter-narcotics operations and was ratified for the sixth year running as a territory free of illicit drug cultivation by the United Nations (UN).

Copy of the Venezuelan statement in full - http://venezuela-us.org/2012/09/15/venezuela-defends-its-effective-anti-drug-policies-after-false-accusations-by-u-s/