The nephews of his wife? hahahahahah oh that's damning that is.
On April’s Fools Day, U.S. President Donald Trump gave a press conference where he announced a new “counter-narcotics effort” by U.S. Southern Command. “We’re deploying additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircrafts and helicopters, Coast Guard cutters…doubling our capabilities in the region,” he said. The point of this mission—which will be joined by other countries—is to “increase surveillance, disruption, and seizures of drug shipments.” “We must not let narco-terrorists exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives.”
On 26 March, less than a week before Trump’s announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted several members of the Venezuelan government for narco-trafficking. An indictment is not a verdict of guilt, merely a note—in this case – prepared by the U.S. government against an adversary; there is nothing in the indictment that proves the case that any of the individuals mentioned in it have anything to do with narcotics smuggling. It was apparent from the press conference at the U.S. Department of Justice that this was political theatre, an attempt to further delegitimize the government of Nicolas Maduro.
Coming less than a week after this indictment, it is clear to all that the point is not to actually disrupt the cocaine trade, but it is to put pressure on Venezuela. No evidence was provided during the Department of Justice press conference when the United States charged Maduro with narco-trafficking, and no evidence was presented at Trump’s press conference when he announced that a naval carrier group would enter the Caribbean. There was no evidence presented at either high-profile event, because no evidence is either available or necessary; it is not available, because even the U.S. government’s own agencies say that Venezuela is neither the originator of narcotics nor the trafficker of narcotics, and it is not necessary because the United States has been consistently delegitimizing Venezuela to overthrow the government based on increasingly hallucinatory stories about the Venezuelan government.
In December 2019, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) released its National Drug Threat Assessment. This study offers the most detailed look at the movement of drugs into the United States. At several points in the study, the DEA says that Colombia is the “primary source for cocaine seized in the United States,” According to the DEA’s Cocaine Signature Program, in 2018 “approximately 90 percent of cocaine samples tested were of Colombian origin, six percent were of Peruvian origin, and four percent were of Unknown origin.” As far as the U.S. government’s own drug agency is concerned, there is no cocaine or any other narcotic that comes from Venezuela.
Both at the U.S. Department of Justice press conference and at Trump’s press conference, maps were shown that indicated cocaine traffic from Venezuela to the United States. This is simply not true, based on U.S. DEA information. “The majority of the cocaine and heroin produced and exported by Colombian TCOs [Transnational Criminal Organizations] to the United States is transported through Central America and Mexico,” write the DEA officials in their 2019 report. However, there are suggestions in the report that Colombian narco-traffickers sometimes “store large quantities of cocaine in remote areas of Venezuela and Ecuador until maritime or aerial transportation can be secured.” It is important to recognize that the cocaine and heroin are hidden in “remote areas” of Colombia’s neighbors, with Colombia being the focus of the entire drug trade.
At no point in the entire DEA document, and in documents from previous years, do the U.S. drug officials make any statement that implicates the Venezuelan government in either the production, storage or transportation of the cocaine and the heroin. The only time Venezuela enters the picture is when Colombian narco-traffickers hide their cocaine and heroin in “remote areas” of Venezuela before they traffic them into Central America and Mexico and then onwards to the United States.
The indictment against Venezuelan officials is bizarre. There is no footprint for it in any DEA document that is available.
There is, however, significant evidence—as presented by the Colombian journalist Gonzalo Guillén in La Nueva Prensa on 3 March 2020—that Colombia’s president Iván Duque and his patron, the former president Álvaro Uribe had close ties with the narco-trafficker José Guillermo Hernández Aponte, alias Ñeñé. The previous day, Duque was in the Oval Office as Trump chided him for not doing enough to eradicate cocaine production in Colombia. “Well, you’re going to have to spray,” Trump told Duque. “If you don’t spray, you’re not going to get rid of them. So, you have to spray, with regard to the drugs in Colombia. Yeah.” Trump was talking about glyphosate-based fumigation, which the government of Colombia stopped doing in 2015 because the World Health Organization said that such sprays caused cancer. Duque said he will restart spraying. There was no mention of the accusations that Duque himself is linked to the narco-traffickers; since he is pliant towards Washington, his own alleged crimes do not amount to much.
Strangely, in that press conference, both Trump and Duque talked about Venezuela, but neither of them mentioned drugs or narco-trafficking. It was all about regime change.