Cuba exposed as the dirty bird in making Venezuela a narcostate
How does a hellhole with no money like Venezuela stay afloat? Obviously, because of the cocaine trade.
And that's been going around for years, given that dozens of top Venezuelan rulers have been sanctioned or put on Treasury Department watchlists. The very rulers at the heart of Venezuela's socialist hellhole, so admired by Bernie Sanders and Sean Penn, are nothing but Pablo-Escobar-style drug dealers. Imagine how repulsive it is: All of the legal businesses have been put out of business by socialist diktats, while all of the illegal businesses, such as drug dealing, have flourished - and the money floats only upward to the party elite, keeping their lives lives of vulgar luxury, while the rest of the country starves.
Who created this situation? Venezuela's communist master, Cuba. That's the verdict of a long investigative report, from the Daily Beast, titled "How Cuba Helped Make Venezuela A Mafia State," by respected reporter Christopher Dickey.
Here's his lead-in tease:
The Castros claimed Cuba was never into drug smuggling, then they said it quit. But their own operations were nothing compared to the ones they helped facilitate in Venezuela.
Dickey makes a persuasive case for the Castros's history of drug dealing, starting with Cuba's pilot project, the making of Colombia into a narcostate, which it nearly became until the advent of President Alvaro Uribe, who was elected in 2002. Colombia had a history of outlaws, as Mark Bowden wrote in his superb history of the Colombia narcowars, but never was a cocaine capital until Castro came along and enabled Escobar, who was a sort of pioneer in drug dealing, creating, with Castro's help, the first cartel, and nearly taking over the country. Back in the 1980s, Pablo Escobar got his start and became a drug-lord pioneer based on his cooperation with Cuban authorities and Miami Cuban bad guys, enabling him to nearly take over the Colombian state, all with a little help from his Castroite friends.
In the years that followed the Ochoa trial, Cuba offered to cooperate with the United States fighting against drug traffickers. The Clinton administration shelved proposed indictments of the regime, and as relations gradually warmed, the U.S. would begin to liaise with Cuban authorities in the war on drugs. But at the same time the Cuban intelligence services were reaching out in other directions, to networks that would become the world’s biggest suppliers of cocaine: the narco-guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and Venezuela’s security forces. Cuban counterintelligence is said to have tutored the Venezuelan spies, domestic and foreign, and helped to organize them to root out opposition to the regime of Hugo Chávez. Indeed, the Cubans taught them to do whatever might be necessary to survive.
Over time, many of Chavez’s officers would become known as the Cartel de los Soles, the Cartel of the Suns: “cartel” because of their involvement with the drug trade on a scale that nobody in 1989 could have imagined; “the suns” for the insignias on the epaulets of Venezuela’s generals.
Castro himself had always considered Colombia a prize, founding the ELN narcoguerrilla group in 1964 for one, which later dealt drugs, and aligning with the Communist Party of Colombia, whose arch-terrorist wing, FARC, was always his faithful ally and had office space for years in Havana. Castro even had a role in starting the riots of 1948, which led to immese bloodshed in the country and culminated in the FARC wars, also launched in 1964. Colombia's history with Castro has always been a history of getting the country trapped into drugs, the better to strike out at the yanqui imperialistas up north.
Uribe crushed the cartels, along with their Marxist narcoterrorist overlords, and every two-bit drug dealer his men could find. Uribe hated drugs so much he didn't even want casual marijuana use legal. He and his vice president Francisco Santos (who was kidnapped and tied to a bed for months in 1990 by Escobar's monsters in a superb account described by Gabriel Garcia Marquez), had an absolute "thing" against drugs. I've heard Santos speak about it in person at UCLA, and can only say his sentiment about it is beyond intense.
Uribe's crushing of these communist brutes led Cuba to make Venezuela the new narcostate it needed to serve its national interests of Getting Gringo. Cuba taught Venezuela's Marxist galoots the ropes of drug dealing, got them hooked up with the master drug dealers of FARC, and got money streams flowing into the coffers of the Chavista elite, making them comfortable as they starved their country into communist submission.
Meanwhile, things turned up roses for the Castros as Ben Rhodes, leading President Obama by the nose, led the rapprochement efforts with Cuba in 2015, rewarding the country with diplomatic relations, even after a repulsive, anti-American, utterly death-strewn history like this, creating two narcostates. Leftists still romanticize communist Cuba, and support the Ben Rhodes effort to coddle these filthy dictators. Dickey's account exposes how hollow that strategy was, and how morally bankrupt or ignorant these U.S. players have been.
Read Dickey's excellent account of the whole revolting history of how Cuba made Venezuela its second narcostate here.