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Surprise Surprise

Vector: www.drugsense.org

Every year the US federal government issues a report card identifying which countries are doing their part to fight the World War on Some Drugs and the people who use them and which countries need to pick up the slack. As with most US government pronouncements on the topic of drug use, the annual report card has little to no truck with reality. Every year, the report certifies Mexico... Mexico! as complying fully and fighting the good fight. The only countries who ever receive failing marks have done something non-Drug-War-related to anger the US Overfather. Historically, the Great Father only lists Myanmar, Afghanistan and similiar political outcasts as non-compliant in the Great Crusade. For example, from a 2001 CNN story on the annual report card:
Countries that are decertified can be subject to economic penalties. Cambodia and Haiti were decertified but were not subjected to sanctions because of national security reasons. Their status remained unchanged from 2000.

Well, this year the Bush administration used the annual certification report to bitch-slap Hugo Chavez. Surprise, surprise. From a Huston Chronical article:
Venezuela's vice president said Thursday that the United States was the world's biggest consumer of illegal drugs and had no "moral authority" to criticize Venezuela for failing to control narcotics.

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday in its annual report on drug trafficking that it no longer considers Venezuela an ally in the war on drugs, worsening already tense relations between Caracas and Washington.

In a speech to Venezuela's Congress, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel responded that: "The country with the highest consumption of drugs is precisely the United States. Narcotrafficking and narcotraffickers are in the United States, not in Venezuela."

[This last bit is my favorite.]

The U.S. report said that rampant corruption at high levels of law enforcement and a weak judicial system in Venezuela allowed hundreds of tons of Colombian cocaine to cross into the country each year.

As far as I know, the report doesn't mention what kind of corruption and complicity allow that very same cocaine to cross the US border.

Pubdate: Thu, 02 Mar 2006
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Author: Natalie Obiko Pearson, Associated Press Writer
Webpage: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3698118.html

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