Withdrawal from Anti-drug Agreements Benefits Cartels in Venezuela

first_imgBy Diálogo May 20, 2020 On February 25, in a combined operation, the Colombian Navy and Aruban security forces seized more than 5 tons of cocaine hidden inside a compartment of the cargo ship Aressa. The vessel that sailed under a Cameroonian flag had departed from Guaranao Port, in the Venezuelan state of Falcón, and was bound for Greece.The Aruban news portal 24ora said it was the largest cache seized in the island, according to the Aruban Attorney General’s Office.Mildred Camero, former president of the Venezuelan National Commission against Illicit Drug Use (CONACUID, in Spanish), said that this operation was possible thanks to coordination among Colombia, Aruba, and the United States, without the participation of Venezuelan security forces.This is another example in which first Hugo Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro, have broken off with international cooperation to counter narcotrafficking, in order to participate fully in this activity.The isolation process began in 2005, when Chávez ordered to halt the agreements signed with the U.S. Department of State’s Narcotics Affairs Section. These conventions governed, among several issues, the activities of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the country.Camero was in the United States when Chávez announced the decision. “When I returned to Venezuela, I knew I had been dismissed,” she said.From then on, Venezuela also withdrew from multilateral anti-drug cooperation forums of the Organization of American States and the Andean Community. In 2008, Chávez threatened to leave Interpol, when technicians of that institution validated evidence from computer files seized during a raid in northern Ecuador. The files linked the Chávez government with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.International cooperation for drug interdiction and drug use prevention, as well as money laundering detection, has been declining until reaching the current situation, in which it is “nonexistent,” Camero said.Complicit service members At the same time, several high-ranking officers, who were leading the fight against trafficking organizations, began to favor these groups, taking advantage of their positions of power. One of them would be Bolivarian National Guard Major Néstor Reverol, current Interior minister and former head of the National Anti-drug Office (ONA, in Spanish), the institution that replaced CONACUID in 2008.An indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in January 2015 says that Reverol, together with Brigadier General Edylberto Molina, “alerted narcotics traffickers to future drug raids or locations of law enforcement counter-narcotics activities, so that the narcotics traffickers could change the storage locations of narcotics or alter transportation routes or times and thus avoid detection by law enforcement.”Molina was the ONA’s general director during Reverol’s tenure. Later, when Maduro designated Reverol as Interior minister, he also appointed Molina as deputy minister of the Integrated Police System (VISIPOL, in Spanish).Camero said that Major General Hugo Carvajal, former director of Military Counterintelligence, was conducting a similar activity that favored cartels.In mid-March 2020, U.S. Attorney General William Barr accused Reverol, Carvajal, and Molina of contributing to building Maduro’s “corrupt regime.”With Venezuela’s withdrawal from international drug cooperation efforts — and the fact that more than 50 countries, including the United States and Venezuela’s neighboring countries, do not recognize the Maduro regime — other tactics have been implemented to prevent illegal shipments from leaving the country. International authorities have been using electronic surveillance and confidential informants with greater intensity. According to Camero, this helped detect the preparations for the cocaine shipment on board Aressa in December.José Luis Pirela, head of the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN, in Spanish) Subcommission for the Fight Against Drugs, Terrorism, and Organized Crime, shares this view, adding that the increase in surveillance over the country explains why large drug seizures are taking place in the Caribbean and ports of destination, such as Spain and France, rather than in Venezuelan territory.“The breakdown of international cooperation mechanisms has allowed narcotrafficking to reach alarming levels in Venezuela,” he said.The lawmaker believes that it is necessary to resume Venezuela’s participation in all international forums for both drug interdiction and drug use prevention.He added that the AN speaker, Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by the United States and more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s interim president, should seize this opportunity to renew these accords, and also create a parliamentary space to allow discussions to resume on the drug issue.last_img read more

41 biggest personal finance lessons from 2015

first_img 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr 2015 is almost over and it certainly has been an interesting year. Between Black Monday, Donald Trump’s Republican presidential candidacy and the Volkswagen scandal, there’s a lot to learn about the economy and your money. Here are the top 41 events of 2015 and what personal finance lessons you can learn from them.1. Interest Rate Hike TalkThroughout 2015, investors and consumers have been waiting with bated breath for the forthcoming interest rate hike. But while the Federal Reserve has said they might raise interest rates in December, the truth of the matter is you don’t know when rates will change.Interest rates affect every aspect of American finance from the government’s budget down to your personal checking account. “Interest rates affect consumers because people use debt to fuel purchases. When rates are low it’s a great time to get a loan or use a credit card,” said Tiffany Welka, vice president of VFG Associates. For consumers on tight budgets, she suggested reviewing your finances to see how a potential rate increase could affect your finances. continue reading »last_img read more

Joanne Joseph receives hearing aids from Rotary Club and Ross University

first_img Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Share LocalNews Joanne Joseph receives hearing aids from Rotary Club and Ross University by: – September 27, 2011center_img 29 Views   no discussions Share Image via: hearingaids123.com. (not actual hearing aids donated)Hearing impaired Joanne Joseph is now better able to communicate with others, thanks to a generous donation of hearing aids from the Rotary Club of Dominica and Dr. Susan Kelley of the Ross University School of Medicine.The presentation was made at the Alpha Center in Goodwill this morning.President of the Dominica Rotary Club Ms Marvlyn Birmingham said Joseph has been waiting for more than a year to get hearing aids.“Today I am very pleased to present this set of hearing aides to Joanne. She has been asking about them every time I see her and I am so happy to be able to hand them over to her today,’ she told the small ceremony.Meantime Birmingham said the Rotary Club of Dominica has pursued many projects that impact the lives of people in Dominica.“For eighteen years the club has provided eye care in partnership with the Volunteer Optometry Services for Humanity popularity referred to as the VOSH team,” she said.According to Birmingham, the Rotary Club is also associated with a diabetic foot care training programme for health professionals.“The training is of three days duration and is expected to begin on October 24, 2011. This will be the first of two courses facilitated by international, regional and local personnel. An advance course will follow one year later but the ensuing months between the two courses will be spent in performing set clinical works and data gathering.’ she said.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more