Venezuela Growing as a Cocain Exporter

The Associated Press is reporting that Venezuela has become a major factor in the worldwide cocaine problem.

White House drug czar John Walters told The Associated Press that Venezuela has shown no willingness to cooperate with U.S. officials against drugs.

The flow of Colombian cocaine through Venezuela has quadrupled since 2004, reaching an estimated 282 tons (256 metric tons) last year, he said.

“The flow is increasing as dramatically as it is because it is operating in a condition of impunity,” Walters told the AP in a phone interview from Washington. “The failure of the Venezuelan government to go after this is a failure to be serious.”

U.S. law enforcement officials have detected repeated flights by planes that leave Venezuela, drop off large loads of cocaine off the island of Hispaniola and return to Venezuela, Walters said. Others multi-ton loads are moving, largely by ship by also by flights, from Venezuela to west Africa — a way station for shipments to Europe.

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