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Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:30 AM

To clear up confusion after lies re: Chavez and the "war on drugs":

Chavez joins Ecuador’s opposition to drug war

Venezuelan president accuses U.S. of hypocrisy, condemns crop spraying

updated 12/20/2006 9:35:29 PM ET

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s president Wednesday backed Ecuador’s president-elect Rafael Correa in his fight against U.S.-funded spraying of Colombian drug crops, accusing Washington of hypocrisy in its war on drugs.

President Hugo Chavez also accused the United States of using its anti-narcotics drive to gain a military foothold in Latin America and charged the American envoy in Caracas with lying when he said drug smuggling was soaring in Venezuela.

“The battle against drug smuggling has been an excuse that imperialists have used for several years to penetrate our country, trample our people and justify a military presence in Latin America,” Chavez told reporters at Caracas’ airport during a visit by his leftist ally Correa.

“The big cause is over there, the consumption, the drug money, the banks that launder billions of dollars each year but no one does anything about it,” he said.

Correa has argued that spraying illegal Colombian crops on the Ecuadorean border with herbicides ruins legal crops and harms people’s health on Ecuador’s side. Ecuador has withdrawn its ambassador to Bogota in protest.



Mon, Jan 28, 2008 - Page 7 

Hugo Chavez preaches health benefits of coca leaves

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accepted a handful of coca leaves from his Bolivian ally Evo Morales and chewed them during a summit meeting on Saturday, saying "coca isn't cocaine."

"You know the strength that coca gives," Chavez said. "I've really grown used to it every day in the morning."

The socialist leader joined the Bolivian president in defending the leaf, chewed by Andean Indians for centuries, while condemning its use in making cocaine.

US officials have tried to stamp out or restrict coca cultivation.

Chavez accused Washington of trying to use the issue of drug trafficking to discredit his government for political reasons, noting that White House drug czar John Walters has accused him of facilitating the flow of Colombian cocaine through Venezuela.


Imperial Mythology
Venezuela, Hugo Chávez and U.S. media
By Steve Rendall

When it comes to U.S. press coverage of Venezuela, anything goes if it puts President Hugo Chávez and the movement that brought him to power in a bad light. But among the tangle of misinformation that passes for Venezuela coverage, journalists often tip their hand, telling readers something true: Chávez and the political movement that has gained several electoral victories in Venezuela are a threat to U.S. interests in Latin America.

This is the real reason why Venezuela must be treated harshly, even if it means twisting facts: “Chavismo represents a major threat to American interests in the region, which we ignore at our peril,” wrote media mogul Mortimer B. Zuckerman in the column he runs in his newspaper (New York Daily News, 10/2/06) and news magazine (U.S. News, 10/9/06). In a sprawling profile of Chávez in May’s Atlantic Monthly, New Republic editor Franklin Foer explained that the Venezuelan’s ideology “represents a bigger threat to American interests in the region than anything the United States has seen in decades.”

By “American interests,” such journalists don’t mean what’s good for Americans; they mean what’s good for American elites, including highly placed media commentators. With this understood, the ways in which the current Venezuelan government threatens “American interests” are many.

In this mythology, Venezuela is an undemocratic banana republic whose president, Hugo Chávez, is an aspiring (or actual) dictator who has muzzled dissent and the press. According to the media narrative, Venezuela has become more corrupt under Chávez, a more prolific violator of human rights, and a hindrance to the war on drugs. Moreover, Venezuela is mismanaging its economy, leaving the poor no better off despite soaring oil revenues, and meddling in its neighbors political affairs.


You may recall we have seen the right-wingers who attach themselves to the Democratic Underground accusing Hugo Chavez of being corrupt, and connected to the drug trade! Now we see they are also ready to play the other side, and claim he supports the drug war, and won't take a public stand against it.

I would imagine we ALL got their numbers long, long ago, and they know they're really not fooling anyone.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply To clear up confusion after lies re: Chavez and the "war on drugs": (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
newfie11 Jan 2013 #1
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #7
druidity33 Jan 2013 #2
dotymed Jan 2013 #3
duhneece Jan 2013 #4
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #8
duhneece Jan 2013 #10
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #11
duhneece Jan 2013 #12
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #13
duhneece Jan 2013 #14
tama Jan 2013 #5
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #6
polly7 Jan 2013 #9

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:11 AM

1. Thanks for posting this

Hopefully it will change some minds.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:05 AM

7. Change minds about what? nt


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:07 AM

2. It never ceases to amaze me...

how much anger and vitriol is directed at Chavez from regular people here in the US. When otherwise they couldn't care less about Foreign Policy.

People don't seem to be interested (or capable?) in doing some basic research anymore. Plus there's that war on fact-checkers now...

Anyhoo, thanks fer settin' the record straight...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:11 AM

3. Personally, I respect

Hugo Chavez and the "crop" of socialists leaders (Evo, et al) that he has inspired to actually represent the masses, more than any other "politicians" alive. I so hope that he recovers his health (no way a conspiracy to rid America of his presence), and carries on with his great works. I also hope that American imperialism has created an atmosphere that fosters more socialistic leaders. The people of Latin America (who have been so used by "our" corporate politicians) reached their limits and started electing leaders who believe in and enact laws, to spread equality.
The repatriation of Germany's gold is just the beginning of what will happen to American financial hegemony. We will see the worst depression imaginable because "we" have allowed the worst wealth distribution in history. Hugo stopped this long ago and IMO, we will see the consequences of corporate amerika very soon. Venezuela may become the admitted model of governance, world-wide, within a decade or less.
Most developed nations admit that America no longer exists. The "great experiment" which at one time was synonymous with freedom and opportunity has become a military, feudal, failed state.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:44 AM

4. I don't know enough to have a general opinion on Chavez

But I am glad when anyone fights the War on Drugs.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:07 AM

8. except he is not fighting the war on drugs


The whole point of Judi's post is to supposedly counter the assertion made by me and others that he is AWOL on the issue.

The reality is that all across Latin America there is a movement at the top levels to end the war on drugs... except for Venezuela.

That's the truth.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:28 PM

10. Thanks for the heads up-I'll pay attention now

The failed War on Drugs is among my top 'issues' and appreciate broadening my education on the subject.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:57 PM

11. It's basically my number one issue in the world


Even just looking at the US:

Almost all the violence is due to it. Further, it is the excuse for the violation of our 4th amendment rights, also, it is was the excuse for the militarization of the police and the no-knock raids (although terrorism is not part of it).

It's the reason why money laundering is even an issue, and why my banks are on my ass all the time because i work overseas half time. I had a bank shut me down last year because I was travelling to Africa and the balkans and they were just like "we want nothing to do with you"

While DU is split on gun rights, the violence from the drug war is a huge issue. If it wasn't for the violence of the drug war, people wouldn't be as anti-gun, AND there would be less issues because if the violence wasn't there in the first place, there wouldn't be as money gun owners. Then, if it wasn't for the ever-growing police state (mostly due to the drug war) then there wouldn't be as many black helicopter nutjubs stockpiling guns in the first place.

We want to talk about the budget deficit? Think of every single state, local, and federal employee who is involved in the drug war. Think of all the prison guards. The judges, the courthouse employees. think of all the people in prison.. not just the cost of incarcerating them, but also the economic value lost from their not being a part of the economy.

That's just in the US.

In short, perhaps I am a "drug war" loon, but I really believe it is, by far, the number one most important thing to deal with in the world, and I bet that if it all just ended tomorrow that 20 years from now violence around the world would be 20% (at most) of what it is now, and that global economic growth would be a solid 1-2% higher.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:59 PM

12. I confess, mine, too

I went to the past two International Drug Policy Reform Conferences and hope to attend this October. They have scholarships-apply!

I live 100 miles north of ground-zero of the War on Drugs, Juarez Mexico and grew up in El Paso Tx, right across the border.
For my job as Administrative Coordinator of the Behavioral Health Local Collaborative, I just arranged for a LEAP speaker & got our program video recorded and a good article in the newspaper. And, the past 4 years, we've had an ANTI-Drug-war booth at our local county fair with lots of LEAP t-shirts and Drug Policy Alliance and other resources.
The newspaper article:
Newton says drug war failing
Alamogordo Daily News
By Duane Barbati, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/15/2013 09:45:03 PM MST

Retired Customs and Border Protection pilot Richard Newton spoke last week about the "War on Drugs" at the Behavioral Health Local Collaborative at the Counseling Center.
Newton is a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime and addiction by ending drug prohibition, according to LEAP's website http://leap.cc.
According to their website, LEAP's goals are to educate the public, media and policy makers about the failure of current drug policy by presenting a true picture of the history, causes and effects of drug use and the elevated crime rates more properly related to drug prohibition than to drug pharmacology. It also aims to restore the public's respect for police, which has been greatly diminished by law enforcement's involvement in imposing drug prohibition.
LEAP advocates for the repeal of prohibition and its replacement with a tight system of legalized regulation, which will effectively cripple the violent cartels and street dealers who control the illegal market, the website states.
Newton said he first started looking at the drug policies in the United States after he was involved in a drug bust in the 1980s of about 1,000 kilos of cocaine in Puerto Rico.
"It had an estimated street value of around $80 million," he said. "It didn't effect the price of coke by a penny, ever. We can't keep drugs out of prisons much less this whole country. I came to realize there are better ways to spend the money than prohibition. I got into LEAP about the time I retired."
Newton said he believes people don't realize how long the U.S. has been involved in the "War on Drugs."
"Nixon started the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1971," he said. "Before he started the DEA, there was a government commission. They actually recommended marijuana be legalized, saying the money being spent on law enforcement could go better into counseling. The quote from the commission basically stated that marijuana usage doesn't harm society."
Newton said Nixon totally ignored the recommendation of the committee and started DEA.
"We've been in the drug war for over 41 years," he said. "We've spent over $1 trillion. In 1971, when Nixon started this, drug addiction was 1.3 percent of the population. The United States passed its first drug control law in 1904 with 1.3 percent of the population addicted. Last year, drug addiction was 1.3 percent of the general population. In 1970, a public survey estimated 4 million had admitted to using illegal drugs."
Newton said in 1970 the U.S. population was about 210 million people.
"Now its about 340 million with 46 percent of the population," he said. "The drug war has made it glamorous. State and federal governments spend about $60 to $70 billion. That includes enforcement, stuff on the border and a little bit of treatment but not very much. If we taxed marijuana at the same rates as cigarettes and tobacco, we would generate about $40 billion in tax revenue. It's about $110 billion a year."
Newton said the U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the prison population of the world.
"Half of the population in federal prison are there because of just smoking marijuana," he said. "We don't know that marijuana specifically is harmless, but what we do know is that prohibition does not work, which is our present legal basic policy. It didn't work in the 1920s with alcohol."
Newton said alcohol prohibition in the 1920s basically gave the country gangs, disrespect for authority and organized crime.
"Drug prohibition in the last 40 years has given us basically the same thing," he said.

I pray we are approaching that tipping point where the nightmare will be over.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:13 PM

13. Great..


You are doing more than I am. thank you.

I think we are nearing a tipping point. What is needed is to keep the pressure up here, and for people to see that the world is not going to hell just because people are smoking weed.. also.. Latin America has to stand together.

Right now washington picks on the occasional LA country that doesn't toe the line. They all have to stand up together and say FUCK YOU.

That is why I made the original post about "where's Chavez" he is undoubtedly the leader of leftist Latin America. You have the right wingers Santos, Molina, etc. talking about drug legalization, if only they could all get together something real could happen.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:34 PM

14. Attending those conferences inspired me to action

And I live in a very conservative community, but being 62 (tomorrow!) gives me the freedom that, somehow, I didn't have when I was younger to begin to speak up, be part of certain organizations just because I want to speak up.
This week though, I'm all about Roe v Wade!

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Response to dotymed (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:56 AM

5. Funny you mentioned that


I watched the Keiser report on German gold, and as Germany follows the example of Venezuela, Iran and Libya repatriating their gold from US, US big shots are now demanding that Germany should be treated same way as the three other countries mentioned. Keiser is (entertainilngly) hysterical and sensationalist, but the core analysis is mostly correct.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:05 AM

6. What lies?


You continually accuse people of lying, and then when asked to cite the law you run away because you can't.

The assertion has been made by me and others that with a great movement in Latin America by current and former leaders to end the drug war that Chavez is totally AWOL on the issue.

That is correct, and NOTHING that you posted here counters that, and as usual you accuse people of lying but don't cite the actual lie.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:10 AM

9. K&R Thanks Judi Lynn. nt.

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