A brief Carnival today, due to a very busy weekend:
Read Jackson Diehl’s article in the Washington Post: Why isn’t Obama fighting Colombia’s dirty deal with Chavez?
Few people had heard of Makled before last year, but he has recently made himself famous thanks to a series of jailhouse interviews. In them, Makled, whom the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has accused of shipping up to 10 tons of cocaine a month from Venezuela to the United States, has described bribing or collaborating with scores of the highest officials of Chavez’s government — including his general in chief, the head of military intelligence, the commander of the Navy and some 40 other generals.
Makled says he has videotapes and other evidence documenting his transactions with the generals and with other senior government officials — provincial governors, members of Congress, cabinet secretaries. He says he has information about Venezuela’s help for Hezbollah and other Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
All this, he said repeatedly in an interview with the Univision network, “I will tell to the prosecutor” in New York, where Makled has been indicted on drug charges. That could give the Justice Department the evidence to indict, and the Treasury Department the grounds to sanction, scores of Venezuela’s top leaders.
It could also lead, as Carl Meacham of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff told me, to “a massive turning point in how people look at the Chavez regime.” A self-styled socialist regarded as the successor to Fidel Castro would be reborn as the heir of Manuel Noriega — ruler not of a revolution but of a narco-state.
Only Santos says he will deliver Makled to Chavez — who scurried to make an extradition request ahead of the Justice Department. Chavez, who had a falling-out with Makled when one of the trafficker’s brothers ran for office without his permission, has charged Makled with two murders. He has also offered Santos a rich array of concessions: an end to the near-state of war between their countries; payment of the nearly $1 billion Venezuela owes to Colombian exporters; the return of Colombian drug traffickers captured in Venezuela. It goes without saying that if Makled goes to Caracas, his allegations about the regime’s drug trafficking will be quickly stifled.
Go read the rest for the answer to his title question.
My post on the murderer of 12 children: Was the Rio shooting a Jihad attack? The answer to that question is, “No.”
The Missed Parade
U.S. Expels Ecuador Ambassador