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August 2005
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What happens when you mess with the DEA

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CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – The United States has revoked the U.S. visas of six Venezuelan military officers, including a top anti-drugs chief, just days after President Hugo Chavez ended cooperation with Washington’s anti-narcotics agency.

Of course, the interesting thing about the DEA is that, despite its name, the agency’s goals really aren’t about drugs. For the DEA, drugs exist as a tool, an excuse, or a justification. It’s absolutely fine with the DEA that the drug war is unwinnable. They don’t fight the drug war in order to win it. They use the drug war for power, budget, and furthering political aims.
Drug-Empowered Absolutism
Update: It gets curiouser…
General Lopez Hidalgo accuses DEA of running seized drugs

As president of Defense Council of the Nation Secretariat (Codena), Lopez Hidalgo says DEA agents spirited seized drugs to other countries alleging that on several occasions the DEA reported seizures but the amounts were changed … “what happened with the difference of kilos? … it shows a procedure that is not legal in Venezuela.”

Further Update: Venezuela is apparently willing to work with the DEA, but only if the DEA doesn’t act like the DEA runs Venezuela (Link)
I love this passage:

According to Chacon, one of the main issues is that in the building that houses Venezuela’s anti-drug trafficking agency, Conacuid, there is a floor that is used by the DEA, where it does not allow any Venezuelans to enter. “We demand [of the U.S.] that they would please open this floor,” said Chacon. “The day that the DEA allows us to open up a floor in the DEA’s building [in the U.S.], where only Venezuelans are allowed to enter, we will allow them to open a floor where only North-Americans are allowed to enter into Conacuid, in the meantime no,” added Chacon.

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