In a strange way, in an untimely way, the government of (Barack) Obama” named Venezuela among a score of drug-producing and -transit countries, President Hugo Chavez said during a televised address, adding that the U.S. report is an “imperial vulgarity”
CARACAS – President Hugo Chavez on Friday branded as “imperial vulgarity” a U.S. government report that faults Venezuela for not fulfilling its commitments against drug trafficking.
“In a strange way, in an untimely way, the government of (Barack) Obama” named Venezuela among a score of drug-producing and -transit countries, Chavez said in a televised address.
“Who gave (the United States) the right” to include or exclude those who fulfill or fail to fulfill their commitments to the international war on drugs, the leftist president railed, insisting that only the United Nations might have a reasonable claim to such a role.
Before reading from the communique in which he rejects “this latest imperial vulgarity,” Chavez repeated that if the White House is determined to make Larry Palmer the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Caracas will reject the appointment and deny entry to the diplomat.
And if for that reason the Obama government decides to expel from the United States the Venezuelan ambassador to Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, “let them do it,” he said.
Chavez has not changed his position since Palmer told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that morale in the Venezuelan military is low, purportedly due to politicization of the armed forces.
The U.S. government “should get busy fixing its enormous internal problems that both its people and its institution are suffering, which have made them into the biggest drug consumers in the world and a haven for laundering assets gained by drug trafficking, and, right now, into the leading producer of marijuana in the world,” Chavez said, reading from the statement.
The official text said that so far this year, Venezuela has seized 46,390 kilos (more than 51 tons) of various illegal drugs and has brought charges against more than 7,000 people, “showing great efficiency in the criminal prosecution of those crimes.”
“As part of the responsibility shared with all countries of the world,” the Chavez administration “reaffirms its commitment in the war on illicit drug trafficking, by means of sovereign policies, without taking or accepting any of the pressure or blackmailing they try to impose,” he said.
The president’s comments followed the announcement that fugitive Colombian drug trafficker Beto Marin was arrested Thursday in Venezuela.
Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami reported the arrest of the Colombian drug lord in a message posted on Twitter.
Colombia’s defense minister, Rodrigo Rivera, said Friday that Marin’s capture was the fruit of cooperation between authorities in Bogota and Caracas.
Rivera recalled that Marin is wanted for extradition by United States authorities for the crime of drug trafficking and a $5-million reward was offered for information leading to his arrest.
“It was an operation that shows the commitment of both governments and both police forces to mount an international response, in this case it was Colombia and Venezuela against drug trafficking,” he said.
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