August 9, 2005
Please Distribute Widely

Dear Colleague,

United States “anti-drug” policy faces a major setback in Venezuela this week, and the drug warriors are loosening their ties as the heat rises.

At the State Department’s press briefing yesterday, Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli responded to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s warnings on Sunday that Venezuela would no longer work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Chávez said that, far from abandoning efforts to combat trafficking and money laundering in his own country, his government had decided that – as Narco News has reported for over five years – the DEA’s war on drugs has nothing to do with actually shutting down the business, but is rather part of a strategy of political intervention in Latin American affairs.

Ereli’s limp response was to charge that Venezuela’s statements about DEA crimes are merely noise designed to distract from what he said was the country’s own increasingly poor performance on drug control, a statement which the U.S. government’s own past statements and reports show to be untrue.

Ereli furthermore revived one of the U.S.’s oldest political weapons in the drug war, threatening to end Venezuela’s certification as a country participating in anti-drug efforts.

Read the full report here, in The Narco News Bulletin:

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