Pepe Escobar interviews the Latin America expert and author:
He’s bang-on about everything except one point: He insists Venezuela has become a “transshipment point” for Colombian cocaine since Chavez stopped collaborating with the DEA. Actually, Venezuela became such a point long before Chavez was elected–it goes back as far as the drug wars of the 1980s, whereas Chavez was elected in ’99. Venezuelan seizures of drug shipments are way up since Chavez booted the DEA, and one can only conclude that the DEA was actually complicit with Colombia and its right-wing paramilitaries in menacing Venezuela.
Which means Chavez was really onto something when he said that the FARC (who have used cocaine trafficking as a source of income) have become a convenient excuse for Washington to crank up the war machine. Take away one more excuse, and that cranking becomes a lot harder to do.