Venezuela the Narcostate (updated)

Thomas Lifson
Hugo Chavez has turned Venezuela into a narcostate, openly posting people with backgrounds in the cocaine trade to high office, including the head of the Venezuelan military Even worse, there is evidence of collaboration with the drug lords of Mexico who threaten to turn our southern neighbor into a failed state. While most Americans are preoccupied with the threat from jihadists, a serious national security threat in our own hemisphere metastasizes.

Investor's Business Daily
provides the news that the rest of the American media ignores:

Last week, Chavez promoted Major General Henry Rangel Silva to general-in-chief, the top position in the Venezuelan military command.

It was a rogue act because, in 2008, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control named Rangel and two other Chavez loyalists as "Tier II Kingpins" for material support of drug trafficking.

The U.S. designation came of an administrative process so strict and thorough the U.S. government could indict someone if it's right - and be sued if it's wrong. There have been no lawsuits.

Rangel is said to provide material support for Colombia's FARC communist terrorists, who control 60% of Colombia's cocaine production, pushing it into Mexico and other destinations.

With Mexico endangered by local cartels' trade with Venezuela's government-linked suppliers, the link to Mexico's drug war is very real. And it's a national security problem for the U.S. - a big one.

Seven other Chavez loyalists are also on the Treasury's list. So we have a drug lord regime that also has billions of dollars in oil revenue, and is dedicated to subverting the Western Hemisphere with a communist/gangster revolution, and having considerable success in Mexico. Our head-in-the-sand media ignores the peril.

If you aren't worried, you aren't paying attention.

Update: The AP has a story on Venezuela serving as a staging point for drug gangs which buy old jet airliners (DC-8s, 727s, DC 9s, etc) for a few hnundred thousand dollars and use them to transport cocaine to Europe, via Africa on a one-way basis.  (hat tip: David Paulin)
Hugo Chavez has turned Venezuela into a narcostate, openly posting people with backgrounds in the cocaine trade to high office, including the head of the Venezuelan military Even worse, there is evidence of collaboration with the drug lords of Mexico who threaten to turn our southern neighbor into a failed state. While most Americans are preoccupied with the threat from jihadists, a serious national security threat in our own hemisphere metastasizes.

Investor's Business Daily
provides the news that the rest of the American media ignores:

Last week, Chavez promoted Major General Henry Rangel Silva to general-in-chief, the top position in the Venezuelan military command.

It was a rogue act because, in 2008, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control named Rangel and two other Chavez loyalists as "Tier II Kingpins" for material support of drug trafficking.

The U.S. designation came of an administrative process so strict and thorough the U.S. government could indict someone if it's right - and be sued if it's wrong. There have been no lawsuits.

Rangel is said to provide material support for Colombia's FARC communist terrorists, who control 60% of Colombia's cocaine production, pushing it into Mexico and other destinations.

With Mexico endangered by local cartels' trade with Venezuela's government-linked suppliers, the link to Mexico's drug war is very real. And it's a national security problem for the U.S. - a big one.

Seven other Chavez loyalists are also on the Treasury's list. So we have a drug lord regime that also has billions of dollars in oil revenue, and is dedicated to subverting the Western Hemisphere with a communist/gangster revolution, and having considerable success in Mexico. Our head-in-the-sand media ignores the peril.

If you aren't worried, you aren't paying attention.

Update: The AP has a story on Venezuela serving as a staging point for drug gangs which buy old jet airliners (DC-8s, 727s, DC 9s, etc) for a few hnundred thousand dollars and use them to transport cocaine to Europe, via Africa on a one-way basis.  (hat tip: David Paulin)