Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro vowed on Tuesday he would expose the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for paying Chavista leaders to frame the socialist government for drug trafficking — and he claims the accusation will be proven with intelligence reports in the coming days.
“I am going to reveal the evidence of how they have worked with the CIA and the NSA,” Maduro told a televised Presidential Council meeting, as reported by multi-State-run TeleSUR.
“The evidence will give them cold sweats and diarrhea.”
Maduro asserted the suspects — whom he described as “a group of traitors who were from the Bolivarian Revolution” — are based primarily inside the United States, but some still operate in Venezuela.
As TeleSUR explains, “Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department put Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami on a sanctions list for allegedly aiding drug traffickers. They claimed El Aissami is linked to coordinating drug shipments to Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas and a Colombian drug lord.
“The U.S. Treasury Department, however, has never released specific evidence directly linking El Aissami to any of these claims. Their only sources are ‘unnamed’ former government employees who defected from the Bolivarian Revolution.”
In February, the New York Times reported, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control alleges El Aissami “facilitated shipments of narcotics from Venezuela, to include control over planes that leave from a Venezuelan air base” and “oversaw or partially owned narcotics shipments of over 1,000 kilograms.”
Sanctions followed El Aissami’s being placed on the U.S. list of drug ‘kingpins,’ under the premise he “facilitated shipments of narcotics from Venezuela,” by working in conjunction with Walid Makled García — a well-known Venezuelan drug trafficker — to bring illicit substances north to Mexico and the states. Officials say El Aissami coordinated these efforts with the Los Zetas cartel.
Notably, the vice president and former head of the nation’s police force has fought stridently — at least in the public eye — against international drug trafficking, and thus took umbrage with the accusation.
“We shall not be distracted by these miserable provocations,” El Aissami declared on Twitter.
“Truth is invincible and we will see this vile aggression dispelled.”
While Maduro and El Aissami accuse the U.S. of imposing sanctions for purely political reasons, others contend allegations of drug trafficking and collusion have haunted the man who is now vice president for years.
Venezuela’s economy has fallen to shambles as a paucity of food and other supplies have left millions at the whim of a socialist government which controls pricing and maintains vise-like regulations over products.
In fact, as Newsweek reported today, “Venezuela’s government this week threatened to seize bakeries in the latest escalation of the country’s ‘bread war.’ With an economic crisis that has left bread in short supply, the government of embattled President Nicolás Maduro has mandated that bakeries allocate 90 percent of the flour they receive to producing bread, with only the remaining 10 percent going toward sweet treats like pastries and cakes.”
Opposition to Maduro’s administration has slowly mushroomed, but smaller protests recently have been quashed by larger, louder pro-government groups.
If the Venezuelan president indeed possesses Intelligence documents fingering the CIA and NSA as puppet masters of an elaborate scheme to smear officials and undermine credibility, it would be another of many thorns in the clandestine organization’s side.
Wikileaks’ Vault 7 release of internal CIA documents has made apparent to the world the U.S. Intelligence Community — all infighting among the supposed 17 agencies aside — does not believe in an individual’s right to privacy.
If Maduro turns out to be correct, it would be further proof the United States government pompously believes it can act however it wants, wherever it wants — anywhere on the planet — to satisfy its sometimes murky goals.