Weakness on Chavez, Drugs and Terror Plague Obama’s Latin America Policy

Ray Walser /

The record will show that the May 9 extradition by Colombia of Walid Makled Garcia to Venezuela constitutes a major lost opportunity for the Obama Administration to interrogate and prosecute a Venezuelan drug kingpin with close ties to high-level Venezuelan officials and to expose the depth of narco-corruption within the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela.

Makled’s extradition follows the decision by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian courts to honor the Venezuelan request for extradition over a similar request made by the U.S. In exchange for Makled, the Colombians are banking on closer commercial and security ties, including reduced support for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), with the imperious and unpredictable Chavez.

The relationship between Chavez and the narco-terrorists of the FARC is again the subject of careful international scrutiny following release of a detailed examination and analysis of links between the FARC and Venezuela by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The study includes the most complete set of documents recovered from the laptop of Raul Reyes, the FARC’s chief of staff, who was killed during a daring military strike by Colombian forces in March 2008 in his safe haven on Ecuador’s soil. (more…)