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Venezuela accuses DEA of protecting drug cartels.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan chancellor Nicolás Maduro gave assurances this week that Venezuela has made effective progress against drug trafficking since breaking relations with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“The DEA functioned in Venezuela as they function in many other countries:  as a cartel.  They protected the drug cartels”, he said.  “Once we left them behind, we immediately began having great success with our anti-drug policy on the border, in the capture of narcotraffickers and confiscation of drugs”, Maduro said.

The chancellor was rejecting a report issued by the U.S. government on Thursday, in which it accused Venezuela and Bolivia of “having manifestly failed in the war against drugs.”

“We can and have explained to all countries with whom we have bilateral agreements, that nobody promotes the traffic and consumption of drugs via these kinds of cartels like the DEA does”, Maduro claimed.

Venezuelan vice minister of Prevention and Citizen Security Néstor Reverol stated that his country has formed a South American Anti-Drug Council, made up of the member states from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).  Reverol, who is also director of the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), added that Venezuela has invested US$26 million in 10 radar installations to better control that nation’s air space.