Say hello to my little comrade

Clubbing with Godgiven

Clubbing with Godgiven

As per usual, Quico and I see the unfolding scandal that is Diosdado Cabello way differently. While Quico thinks this whole charade is only of interest to historians, I think the unraveling of the Suns Cartel has tremendous implications for the power balance within chavismo.

First off, I want to highlight my favorite parts from José de Córdoba and Juan Forero’s searing piece. (In Spanish here)

An elite unit of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington and federal prosecutors in New York and Miami are building cases using evidence provided by former cocaine traffickers, informants who were once close to top Venezuelan officials and defectors from the Venezuelan military, these people say.

“There is extensive evidence to justify that he is one of the heads, if not the head, of the cartel,” said the Justice Department official, speaking of a group of military officers and top officials suspected of being involved in the drug trade. “He certainly is a main target.”

So, first off, this is not just Leamsy any more. It’s not just Leamsy and Isea. This involves numerous law enforcement agencies and several witnesses, including drug traffickers, more informants, and more defectors.

De Córdoba and Forero are two of the most widely respected journalists working in the continent. The sources of the information go beyond some gossip from Leamsy – gossip which many of you readers refused to believe a mere few weeks ago, ahem. (Now, go eat crow).

The DOJ is leaking information, along with other American sources. The evidence is “extensive.” Do you think for a second they would blabbing about this to the Wall Street Journal if they weren’t certain that their case was strong?

Venezuela doesn’t produce coca, the leaf used to make cocaine, nor does it manufacture the drug. But the U.S. estimates that about 131 tons of cocaine, about half of the total cocaine produced in Colombia, moved through Venezuela in 2013, the last year for which data were available.

Hmm, so let’s see, in a single year 131 tons went through Venezuela. If 1.3 tons (the amount seized in the infamous Air France flight) were worth $270 million, a simple calculation says that this drug ring … is a $27 billion enterprise.

Yup. $27 billion … PER YEAR.

Now, not all of that belongs to the drug lords, obviously, but still, what’s their take? 15%? That comes out to roughly $4 billion. That’s still a big chunk of cash.

Prosecutors aren’t targeting President Nicolás Maduro, who has been in power since Mr. Chávez’s death two years ago. U.S. law-enforcement officials say they view several other Venezuelan officials and military officers as the de facto leaders of drug-trafficking organizations that use Venezuela as a launchpad for cocaine shipments to the U.S. as well as Europe.

“It is a criminal organization,” said the Justice Department official, referring to certain members of the upper echelons of the Venezuelan government and military.

That’s the rub: it’s not you, Maduro, it’s him. Watch the wording from the DOJ official: “certain members” of the government. That’s obviously what US envoy Thomas Shannon is going back and forth to Caracas to discuss.

Maduro has an obvious choice: either tie his sinking presidency to the fate of clumsy, leaky, “stocky and bull-necked” (loved that) drug smugglers, or turn Diosdado and crew over and save face. And just what do you think the Cubans will suggest he do? Maduro’s handlers, after all, are the folks who murdered Arnaldo Ochoa.

Of course, this is all speculative, but if you think Maduro isn’t mulling what to do at this point, then I think you’re being naive.

The deepening crisis has made it easier for U.S. authorities to recruit informants, say those working to enlist people close to top Venezuelan officials. Colombian and Venezuelan drug traffickers have also arrived in the U.S., eager to provide information on Venezuelan officials in exchange for sentencing leniency and residency, U.S. officials say. “Since the turmoil in Venezuela, we’ve had greater success in building these cases,” said a federal prosecutor from New York’s Eastern District who works on Venezuelan cases.

“We get people out of Venezuela, and we meet with them in Panama, Curaçao, Bogotá,” said a former intelligence operative who works with U.S. officials to recruit and debrief Venezuelans who have evidence of links between Venezuelan officials and the drug trade. Former Venezuelan military officers and others living outside the country provide help by contacting their former comrades and urging them to defect, the recruiter said. If the defector can provide useful information, the recruiter said, he is flown to the U.S. and a new life.

This is another fascinating tidbit. It’s not that they have a single lead and it’s done – it’s that their case grows by the week. People are dying to tell their story to federal prosecutors. And when leaks reach a tipping point inside a criminal organization, what do you think that does? How does Diosdado sleep at night, not knowing who is going to betray him next? This is how witch hunts begin, and witch hunts are terrible for criminal organizations such as the Venezuelan government.

“The involvement of top officials in the National Guard and in the government of Venezuela in drug trafficking is very clear,” said a former Venezuelan National Guard officer who served in intelligence and in anti-narcotics and left the country last year frightened by the overwhelming corruption he saw daily. “Everyone feels pressured,” he said. “Sooner or later everyone surrenders to drug trafficking.”

The U.S. is also gathering information from bankers and financiers who handle the money for top Venezuelan officials. Since last year, people familiar with the matter say the U.S. government has revoked the visas of at least 56 Venezuelans, including bankers and financiers whose identities haven’t been made public. Some have sought to cooperate with investigators in order to regain access to the U.S.

“They are flipping all these money brokers,” said a lawyer who is representing two Venezuelan financiers who have had their visas revoked. “The information is coming in very rapidly.”

As with everything the Venezuelan government does, this drug operation was anything but clandestine, and anything but competent.

Everybody and their mother apparently knew what was going on, and if they knew, they kept their evidence. Furthermore, the idea that people are flipping – particularly bankers – spells a pernicious scent of doom on the Venezuelan government’s ability to raise cash in international markets. Because, how often does Wall Street lend money to drug cartels? And what does it say when 56 Venezuelans (not just the seven, but eight times that) have had their visas revoked in secret? Also, which bankers have had their visas revoked?

The Americans are playing hardball with the weak Maduro, and we don’t know the half of it. In fact, we only know the 7/56th of it.

Finally, there is the geopolitical angle, which the article wisely skips over. It’s one thing when a crazy half-wit controls the world’s largest oil reserves, it’s quite another when organized crime does it. The confirmation that Venezuela is a narco-state would have a tremendous impact on regional support for Maduro. Don’t doubt for a minute that this classified Dossier will make its way to Planalto, Moncloa, Nariño, or la Casa Rosada. To what extent will regional leaders be willing to stick their necks out for Maduro in the face of all the evidence the authorities claim to have?

This case threatens the internal cohesion of chavismo. It threatens the functioning of the internal bureaucracy of the government and of the military, and it threatens the international coalition – propaganda, financial – that keeps the Maduro machine working.

Of course, it may well be that none of this makes an iota of difference and that Quico is right. But this time – truthiness alert – it feels different.

American law enforcement has taken this game to a whole new level. It would be surprising – neh, shocking – if this whole thing just died down.

63 thoughts on “Say hello to my little comrade

  1. Well, I do think the intelligence cooperation angle might make some difference. You can only imagine the kinds of classified briefings a guy like Shannon must be giving to cancillerías all up and down the hemisphere right now. I’m sure it’s a thing of beauty. At some point, even the blockhead retread commies running the hemisphere’s diplomacy will *have* to accept you can’t apply normal diplomatic protocols to a drug-cartel with a National Anthem. That part of it does seem significant.

    But c’mon, Maduro doesn’t have the chops to take down an organization like Diosdado’s. What is he supposed to move against all 46 combat unit commanders under Diosdado’s thumb at once?! It’d be a kind of autogolpe, one with very scant odds of success.

    My guess is that a certain level of defections is baked into the guy’s business plan. I don’t see any reason to believe the Cartel de los Soles is imploding…or, to put that slightly differently, that it’s decaying any faster than the rest of the institutions in the country are decaying. (Granted, that’s a low bar.)

    I think the story is interesting for US to read, because we didn’t know a bunch of these details. But to Diosdado, and to Maduro, this story doesn’t really change much: they knew exactly how exposed they were yesterday, and they’re exactly as exposed today.

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    • No! The glass is half-full I tell you!

      Look, PERHAPS you’re right, but I just don’t think it’s likely. How does this game end? Do you think that the US government – going out on a limb as it is to prosecute the most powerful man in Venezuela – is going to let itself be outrun and outmaneuvered by Venezuela? How do Maduro and Cabello go back to business as usual in the face of the fat expediente that they apparently have?

      I’m not saying this is a game changer. All I’m saying is that this is not just going to be some Velasquez Alvaray-like footnote in the story that is chavismo.

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      • Well I do think it is a game changer. This is a crossroads for Maduro, Diosdado and everyone else involved with the government. There may even be a message regarding the coming elections. The US may offer Maduro an opening if he tones down his anti-democratic practices and prunes the narco elements, but can he do it?

        Venezuela can turn into full pariah state (ala North Korea, Iran, Siria) or …nope, there does not seem to be an “or” for Diosdado. Too late to turn low profile, there is no possible golden exile for him anymore, that possibility is also fading rapidly for anyone else in the government. For them the ships are burning.

        Either way it goes, things are not going to be the same. The current government structure is crumbling.
        I love this part:

        “The deepening crisis has made it easier for U.S. authorities to recruit informants”

        Their mismanagement is coming back to bite them in the ass. They can only thank Chavez for that.

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    • Don’t discard the Cubans in this game. Intel source said Raul Castro have been giving leads to the US. So I thinking of a triangular US-Cuba-Maduro to get rid of Cabello.
      Let’s see what Cabello can do about this. With his conspiracy to overthrow Maduro was in the air.
      I don’t like Cubans in Venezuela neither a narco-State, but honestly what are the real options here?
      A ponerse las alpargatas que lo que viene es joropo

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      • I am with you, that US Cuba relations, came with gifts. What cubans gave to the US (And many say it was FARC- Narco things). Now How innocent are the Castros with the narcotraffic? And I am still thinking what USA gave to Castro?

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    • As a Colombian here I have to say, this puts our government in a really difficult bind. If there’s any truth to this the one thing we can be sure of is that the coke is coming from Colombia and from las Farc, BUT Venezuela has been a key player in the peace process. Sure, it’s only an “obsever” but out of Cuba, Norway and Chike it’s the only country that borders Colombia and has some presence from las Farc.

      My ideal scenario is that Santos gets everything he needs out of Venezuela, Cuba follows suit in its rapprochement to the US and This issue can be addressed, but really, it’s a very tall order

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  2. ” … if you think Maduro isn’t mulling what to do at this point, then I think you’re being naive..”

    Methinks he’d better not spend too much time mulling. Might we be about to find out which of these two has more tanks and planes? Because if Mr Stocky Bull-Neck gets the idea that he is to be offered a one-way ticket to a Federal Correction Center, he might be more than a little tempted to get his response in first.

    That of course would only work as a threat. If he actually had to carry it out, his position would almost instantly become untenable.

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    • I am gobsmacked you’re thinking this way, Phil…

      This I’ll say, if there’s even a chance that either Maduro or Diosdado has lost sight of the basic, foundational fact that each of them is totally fucked without the other’s support…well then the regime is way less stable than I realized.

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      • Well, at least we agree with the fact that each one is screwed without the other. We disagree with the idea that they both know this, and act upon it.

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      • Hehehe … I thought that might get a response! Maybe I’ve seen more gangster movies than you have. Your point is perfectly valid, but I think the true situation is a lot more interesting than that. The stability of the regime (at least with regard to this particular element) is rather like the stability of planet Earth under the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction. It’s fine so long as each side regards the other as equally rational. But what do we really know, not only about the mental state of each of them, but what each THINKS about the mental state of the other? Under this kind of pressure, the corridors of power can so easily be transformed into a hall of distorting mirrors.

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        • Venezuela’s version of Dr. Strangelove? Iris Varela strapped to a 500 ton bomb, cowboy hat in hand, and arms flailing, bug-eyed and screaming incoherently while being released from the open door of the airplanes cargo hold. The horror! The horror!

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      • If I had to speculate, I would say that the next move will likely be Diosdado’s. He will stage a Coup D’tat and Install himself as head of state. It is his only move. Don’t you think?

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      • I see I’m not the only one who thinks the Maduro-Cabello relationship is not so ironclad as it might appear. Here’s Miguel this morning, in Devil’s Excrement:

        “if anything, this could be the spark for increased political instability in Venezuela. If Godgiven sees his political base undermined, he may decide to go for the whole enchilada. And this would bode badly for everything: Democracy, Stability, Human Rights and the future of Venezuela.”

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  3. Let’s speculate: assuming the Cartel de los Soles does clear $4 bn./year in coke sales, is that more or less than Diosdado makes off of CENCOEX arbitrage?

    I’m guessing same ballpark…

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    • I don’t think Diosdado controls all of Cencoex. Here’s the rub: with Cencoex, everyone can play. With drug trafficiking, it pays to have the army on your side.

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  4. Excellent post!!!! It’s only a matter of when and not if Godgiven, et al are welcomed in Supermax de Colorado.

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  5. The U. S. has known all the WSJ article facts for many years, but chose to look away, and not for lack of evidence. The timing is interesting here–now Venezuela’s diminished/diminishing oil exports to a more oil-independent U. S. make Venezuela less untouchable. $4 bill/yr. narco profits are spread around a fair number of people. A DC-NC showdown isn’t even in Cuba’s interest, since the symbiotic military-ideology relationship is necessary to maintain the status quo and Cuba’s continued grip on their “colony”. Going public with DC’s involvement may, however, preclude the possibility of DC’s assuming national government leadership, at least for long, remembering the Noriega precedent. Odds are for business as usual, until/if the Pueblo or Military finally get the balls to throw the bums out.

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    • I was little confused until I read your comment. I thought everyone knew all of this for years and the only new thing is that the DOJ is doing some leaking. Being captured by a cartel dos not mean the end of international relations for a country. Hell, you can be captured by a cartel and get a free trade agreement with the USA and Canada…

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  6. It doesn’t seem logical that diosdado, who has access to all the guisos and has all the power, would risk everything by becoming a drug lord. He cannot be that dumb!

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      • Think about it. Cuba with maduro could be setting him up to get rid of him. I mean el cartel del sol sounds like the child of lesser know generals not el teniente diosdado.
        I cannot believe I am defending diosdado but it just doesn’t make sense

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        • He may not have intended to originally. Corruption is like that. At first it is a minor irritation. The next thing, it is a lethal cancer.

          Imagine you are him. You turned a blind eye to a few people as favors and for compensation. They grew. And grew. And grew. At some point, you embrace the monster or you be consumed by it.

          Which choice would you make? Receive billions in compensation and protection from the military, or you and your family have “accidents” in a crime-ridden and accident-prone country?

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          • I think Pitiyanqui is on the right track.

            I think what happened was that around 2000-2002, Chávez made a strategic decision with regard to FARC: he wasn’t going to arm them, he wasn’t going to train them, he wasn’t going to give them money or openly side with them. He was going to support them financially by instructing key people in the armed forces to look the other way when FARC used Venezuelan territory to traffic drugs.

            I think Chávez just never properly thought through the implications of that decision. He never stopped to calculate that FARC would end up having to pay for the protection he was offering, or that FARC would be more likely to pay in kind (with cocaine) than in cash, or that that coke would end up in Venezuela’s urban barrios spiraling an uncontrollable wave of violence, or that the amount of money involved would seep through every nook and cranny of the military, or that eventually Diosdado would be put in a position to either ride the tiger or be eaten by it, and would prefer to ride it, because that ride came with billions of dollars attached.

            Chavez never thought policy decisions through. Why would he have thought this one through?

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            • Not according to Leamsy. In Blasco’s book, Leamsy tells of a meeting in which Chávez himself ordered his minions to give the FARC weapons and money in exchange for cocaine. He wasn’t just a simple enabler – he was the head of the damn ring!

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            • The FARC was not simply tolerated by Chavez and his higher ups. Ask anybody who lives in Táchira, Apure, or Barinas. Everybody, who was not actively negotiating with the government to get a loved one released or finding their children’s photos dropped off at their house with a demand note, looked the other way. From the Llanos to Washington, everybody looked the other way. Why they suddenly find this important, beats me.

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              • Okay, Caracas Chronicles did not look the other way. You guys have been talking about this stuff for years.

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            • The murder rate started to rise soon after Chávez came to power. Already in 2002 the murder rate was twice as much as in 1998.
              The crime rise is to a very large extent the responsible of Chavismo. Still, the increase in cocaine consumption is something that started well before. That’s something you can find out if you talk to several physicians who have worked with mostly poor people or some priests working in the poorest areas of Venezuela.

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    • I’ve thought about that. The only way such a thing could be, for me, would be if the drug trade gives such a high profit that the risks be damned. And with that type of money, comes power which may actually be what makes Godgiven tick.

      It would be interesting to know how Godgiven came in touch with this business.

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  7. Yes, the regime’s stability will keep getting weaker and weaker because of everything written on Nagel’s post. That’s correct, and I agree with his take on the issue. And it’s assumed that Cabello controls the army, so we know who’s got the guns in the ongoing witch hunt (beware, Maduro!!!). But that’s all just the cherry on the cake, or the final nail into Chavismo’s coffin, if you prefer, because the real snowball that keeps growing bigger and is totally out of control is this:

    GDP shrinking dramatically, inflation soaring to absurd levels, scarcity entering war zone levels (no exaggeration from my part whatsoever -> http://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2015/05/01/report-venezuelas-medical-shortages-rival-war-zones/ , it’s clear that there’s a humanitarian crisis arriving…

    And when that happens, some other Bolivarian countries/guerrillas might send their armies to Venezuela to protect the failed revolution from the desperate people, but that, in turn, may prompt a reaction from other countries like the US or Colombia… Looks very bad.

    I try to imagine how all this unbelievable situation will be in like 4 or 5 months, and my heart starts racing. Good luck to us all.

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  8. Now this is what you call a good day for the opposition and for Venezuela in general.
    Still, I tend not to get my hopes too high with these kinds of things (see Carvajal’s safe return home), so while this might not be the noose for chavismo just yet, I pray it’s the first of many heavy blows the US is going to start throwing.

    And, “The U.S. government has revoked the visas of at least 56 Venezuelans, including bankers and financiers…Some have sought to cooperate with investigators in order to regain access to the U.S.”…Juan, please take a moment to rub this in the faces of all those who said the sanctions were going to backfire.

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  9. there’s high level brinkmanship going on. WSJ was selected for this timed release. This is not how it was done in the past when the whole thing was conducted in secrecy and nobody knew of the existence of sealed indictments. These leaks are to pressure them in their moment of weakness. There are obvious things that need to happen. They way things are going, these indictments are going to be unsealed and these folks will never leave Venezuela again.

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  10. “How often does Wall Street lend money to drug cartels? ”

    Venezuela gets money from sources other than Wall Street.

    “To what extent will regional leaders be willing to stick their necks out for Maduro in the face of all the evidence the authorities claim to have?”

    Well, most regional leaders ARE delinquents (Antonini, Petrobras, etc). So I don’t see why they should leave Maduro alone. After all, the regime will deny everything and that denial will be used as a fig leaf by the region, mostly in the hope of cashing the monumental debts Venezuela has incurred in with Brazilian and Argentinian providers.

    I am sorry the DOJ is leaking this before an election. Anything the US does against the regime helps it keep up its rhetoric and its mystique.

    My feeling is the US is about to commit another diplomatic mistake, as it often does when dealing with Latin America.

    All that said, I think you are right. This is serious and a real danger for the Venezuelan military elite.

    As I said sometime ago, if this true, then Diosdado committed the crime the US never forbids or forgets.

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    • Yep. Unfortunately, with the track record of the US goverments, this is very easy to play as “it is all a lie and a plot to destabilize the Revolution” … and use it as ammo to crush the opposition.

      I really dont know if things would be better to leave alone and let them fall themselves, that to have the US “help”. I know it sounds bad, because I really believe all the stuff about the narcotraffic angle, but again, not sure if this is not going to end up making them stronger… or at least prompting them to punch first and hard.

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  11. I think a 15% margin is on the short side. Probably 35-45%, if not more. The government has pretty much the pricing power of its choice. As long as FARC gets its goodies to survive.

    Think of the miners in Amazonas. Are the paid anything like market value for their gold? They have no access to a distribution system and thus are stuck taking the best spot price they can find from a handful of dealers. Now imagine if there was only one buyer, with a national anthem, guns, and a global distribution system. What kind of pricing would that yield?

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  12. There are people inside Chavismo who despair of the organized unassailable corruption which surrounds DDC , they may tolerate a lot of the regimes free lance corruption because they figure it poses no threat to the integrity of the regimes overall control of power , but they loath the corruption arround DDC because they see it as a sign of rot inside the very iconic centre of the circle of power .

    Chavismo has its passionately sectarian fundamentalists and puritans , if for any reason DDC sees his power compromised or diminished as a result of what is now publicly revealed , they will try and use it to topple him from the inside changing the balance of power inside Chavismos leadership . making it more radical .

    Maduro is a weak figure juggling the approval of the other factions by granting them favours , cushy jobs and other benefits . He must know DDC sees him with scorn , supports him only because he needs to but not because there is any element of personal sympathy . I figure that DDC wouldnt mind Maduro being toppled from the top position , might even expect it to happen , but he must be careful to keep himself inside the power circle , to protect his person and his interests. (not as the top figure) .

    Im not sure that DDC totally controls the top military because each of them has interests and agendas of their own , he controls some key people and has great influence inside the military , but they are not a solid block but an archipielago of fragmented fears and ambitions .

    If we see the ease with which the leadership can nullify even the strongest among its own ( remember the defenestration of Ramirez , one of the big five , the economic zar of Pdvsa ) they may feel they can with a bit of cunning do the same to DDC . If they try that then the inner struggle may have consequences we now cant foresee.

    On the international scene the revelation isnt going to help shore up the regimes faltering image , the US Govt ( if not the current one , one which is controlled by the more radical republicans) can use this drug trafficking connection to do a lot of things on the financial and commercial sphere which might make it very how for the Chavistas in power.

    In all honesty we dont know what the ultimate implications of whats being publicly revealed will be , there are too many variables , too many unknowns in the equation , but one thing we do know , thi is not something that will help the govt in its desperate quest to hold on to power indefinitely however much they try and create a fanciful message to play the persecuted victims of US imperialism . People arent that dumb.

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  13. Well done Mr. Nagel. This is great writing and reporting. I agree with your premise that this will put pressure on the Venezuelan government and the drug mafia running the country.

    This all reminds me of what happened to Noriega and Panama. I hope that the Venezuelan issue will be resolved just as quickly and cleanly as the USA took care of the Noriega case.

    The operation that took down Noriega was christened “Acid Gambit” I would love to be a fly on the wall when the USA christens the operation to take down Cabello. I vote for naming it something like “Mango Mambo”

    I am sure the USA will come up with a different name that is more appropriate to the seriousness of this case.

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  14. The picture of what is actually happening here is very complex and vague. I am not convinced that any of us is seeing the various strategies clearly, and I am now left with more questions than answers. A couple of random thoughts:

    — What has been released in the WSJ report is nothing new. Everyone, including all of the regional governments, knew it to be true before. So, the U.S. is building a bigger file with more proof. To what end?

    — Unless it is used to justify something like the U.S. did with Noriega, it doesn’t change anything. And I see the chances of the U.S. deciding to invade in order to capture the people indicted as zero.

    — I suppose that the file could/will be used to reduce other regional countries support of the Venezuelan government. But, again… to what end?

    — To think of the “Carteles de Sol” as a single organization with DC at the top would be a mistake. It would be more accurate to see it as a loose association to promote some common interests. DC is just the most powerful of many different capos.

    I suspect that this comment thread will get a LOT longer. There is a lot of meat here for speculation. Unfortunately, in the absence of more facts, that is ALL it is… speculation.

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    • I think it is telling that it is both the Miami and New York federal prosecutors are involved. The former has extensive experience in drug trafficking prosecutions (from the good ole days of Miami Vice) and the latter is perhaps the best investigational unit in the world when it comes to financial crimes and organized crime.

      The feds are…well, when it comes to prosecuting someone, very thorough. Once they have the case built, you have a better chance of escaping a black hole after crossing the event horizon. And when they spring that trap, they are going to net everyone they can possibly nab, all at once.

      Have you ever watched an olive harvest? They string nets under the trees and then they “comb” the branches or handpick the fruit. Once they have most of what they need, they attach a shaker-bar and rattle whatever they missed out onto the nets, so that they get all the fruit. They miss very little. I think this is what we are seeing here.

      Diosdado may very well now (or at least, soon) be a prisoner in a hell of his own creation.

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    • If only there were some officially sanctioned mechanism that allowed one to convert dollars into bolivars and vice versa. Something that the government had total control over and could utilize as it saw fit. Something that would be easy to mask large transactions at the whim of an authority, and which many upper figures in the government had access to at all times…

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  15. The only thing this will contribute to in the short term is the fast strengthening stream of defectors and others looking to escape from a sinking ship. The only person strong enough to have sacked Cabello in some form or fashion was Chavez (who certainly knew of Cabello’s criminal activities but ignored them in return for loyalty), and he is gone..

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  16. The pluggers went ballistic:

    http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150519/funcionarios-sancionados-por-eeuu-demandan-a-capriles

    They are suing Capriles, who they call “guarimbero lechero” (we all know what sort of adjetive hides behind the euphemism) becaus ehe dared to call them “corrupt”

    Oh, boy, the so tough-as-nails chaburros ended being a bunch of sissy whiners who cry and screech at the least brush.
    ////////////////////

    Los enchufados andan con los tapones volados:

    http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150519/funcionarios-sancionados-por-eeuu-demandan-a-capriles

    Están demandando a Capriles, al que llaman “guarimbero lechero” (Todos sabemos lo que se esconde tras el eufemismo) porque se atrevió a llamarlos “corruptos”.

    Oh, viejo,los tan arrechos chaburros terminaron siendo un montón de mariquitas quejicas que lloran y chillan al menor roce.

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  17. Call me a cynic, but here’s my speculation as to how this will all play out:

    Given that Cuba does not want to risk losing their Venezuelan oil supply,
    And given that the US does not want to risk Cuba collapsing for lack of their Venezuelan oil supply,
    And given that the US does not want the chaos entailed in the collapse of Venezuela,
    And assuming Maduro want to keep his current job,

    …then the most likely outcome will be an operation run by Cuban Special Forces, with perhaps a fig-leaf of Venezuelan police loyal to Maduro, which will target Cabello. “Unfortunately”, during the ensuing gunfight, Cabello will die, and along with him any awkward information he might have to embarrass Maduro, the Cubans or the Americans.

    The drug cartel will continue to operate under new management, the Cubans continue to get their oil, and a cut of the drug money, and Obama gets to keep his legacy for ending the US embargo on Cuba. Everybody will pretend to be shocked at that scoundrel Cabello.

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  18. Maduro will hand Diosdado to the US a month before parliamentary elections and kill two birds with one shot

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