The terrorists to our south
While our attention has been drawn to the Middle East we cannot forget the terrorist supporting governments in Latin America. Mary O'Grady, reminds us of the threat in this hemisphere. O'Grady: A Terrorist Big Fish Gets Away
The Netherlands' July 27 decision to return a former director of Venezuela's military intelligence—who had been detained in Aruba—to Caracas, rather than fulfill the extradition request of the Obama administration, is a blow to U.S. prestige.
It is also a major setback in the fight against terrorism in the Americas.
In 2008 the U.S. Treasury designated Hugo Carvajal Barrios a drug "kingpin" for "materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities" of the FARC, a Colombian terrorist organization. Treasury alleges that he not only protected cocaine shipments but also supplied the guerrillas with weapons and official documents to travel in and out of Venezuela.
As she notes, the Netherlands caved to Venezuelan threats and returned him, denying our extradition request.
Yet it's not surprising that the Netherlands decided it would be less costly to be on the good side of the bad guys than to be on the bad side of the good guys. After six years of the Obama global retreat, any leader would be crazy to expect the U.S. to go to the mat for an ally, even one that stuck its neck out for Uncle Sam. So when Venezuela threatened military and economic retribution at the Netherlands Antilles if Carvajal was extradited, the Dutch foreign affairs minister relented.
The U.S. Treasury often distinguishes between drug trafficking and terrorism in Latin America. But Carvajal's résumé demonstrates that the two have become inseparable. America's voracious appetite for illegal drugs has allowed violent political actors to create powerful transnational criminal organizations.
When the President does everything in his power to help our enemies and harm our allies, he can stamp his feet and draw all the redlines he wants. He has made himself and our nation inconsequential and our circumstances more dangerous.