In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Chavez to Obama: Don’t mess with me

Posted by seumasach on March 2, 2009


1st March, 2009

The Venezuelan president has criticized US President Barack Obama for following the Bush administration policies over drug trafficking.

“Is there a new government in the United States or is it Bush still in power? Obama seems to be a continuation of the Bush era,” Hugo Chavez said on Saturday.

He also condemned a US report on global counternarcotics.

“The Obama administration has again attacked Venezuela. He said that Venezuela and I, even citing my name, do not cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking,” AFP qouted Chavez as saying.

“The United States is the world’s leading consumer of drugs. Why can’t they stop drugs from coming into their country? Obama, you take care of your business and I’ll take care of mine. Don’t mess with me, Mr Obama,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, the US Department of State noted in its global counternarcotics report that Venezuela continues to be a major transit point for drug trafficking in the region and refuses to cooperate with US drug interdiction programs.

“Geography, corruption, a weak judicial system, incompetent and in some cases complicit security forces, and lack of international counternarcotics cooperation make (Venezuela) vulnerable to illicit drug transshipments,” the report said.

However, the Venezuelan president responded that his government “has beaten back the drug trade like never before.”

He also accused US Drug Enforcement Agency of weighing behind the drug traffickers and trying to destabilize the country.

“The DEA supported drug trafficking and overthrowing the government,” added the Venezuelan president.

In 2005, Caracas suspended a bilateral counternarcotics agreement with Washington, accusing DEA agents of acting as spies.

The US has since refused to provide Venezuela with an annual certification granted to countries that cooperate in the fight against drugs.

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