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Venezuelan Officials: Drug Kingpins

According to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republicans, “Venezuela’s cooperation on counternarcotics has deteriorated according to a report released today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

“The report, requested by U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar in February 2008, is an effort by Lugar to ensure that funding for United States Government policies designed to interdict narcotics being trafficked through Venezuela in transit to the United States are being used effectively.”

“The findings of this report have heightened my concern that Venezuela’s failure to cooperate with the United States on drug interdiction is related to corruption in that country’s government,” Sen. Lugar said. 

A similiar analysis should be done of Ecuador and Bolivia.  It will likely yield similiar results.   Countries such as Ecuador, Venzuela, and Bolivia are not only failing to cooperate with long-established regional drug interdiction efforts, but they are hampering efforts and making it easier for criminal activity, as well as terrorism, to grow in the Americas.  

Access to the U.S. market is a privilege, not a right.  Reports such as these should give policymakers pause and have them reconsider the use of targeted economic sanctions on key players and institutions in these countries.

Read more about it, here.

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