The Briefing

stack-of-filesI’ll tell you what I do find significant about the revelation that the U.S. now has a long and fast-growing list of witnesses explaining how Diosdado Cabello’s sprawling drug-running operation works in minute detail: The Briefing.

Just imagine the kinds of intelligence briefings Thomas Shannon must be giving to cancillerías all up and down the hemisphere.

It must be a thing of beauty.

Granted, these governments have been hearing ghastly stories about Diosdado Cabello for years as it is. But “stories” isn’t the same thing as evidence: professionally collected, contrasted, checked, vetted evidence.

The Americans are probably to the point now of drawing clear connecting links between Diosdado’s operation and whatever local partners he’s using in, say, Lima, Mexico City, Sao Paolo and Santiago. Are you in any doubt that that information is featured prominently in The Briefing?

This, I think, must be the real point of the U.S. decision to devote significant resources to this investigation. Foreign Ministries up and down the Americas have proven again and again that they don’t give a shit if chavismo shreds civil liberties and makes a mockery of democratic institutions as long as it keeps making the right leftie noises. As a way of isolating the Venezuelan regime, that’s a dead end.

But drugs…that’s different. 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.

54 thoughts on “The Briefing

  1. “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”

    One of the scary things narco power brings with it is ultra violence. Remember Escobar and his shenanigans in Colombia during the 80s, or the slow boil FARC narco insurrection. The headline grabbing drug wars all over Mexico and Central America, and even Venezuela’s violence putting on par to a civil war.

    You can be all retread commie you want, but allowing a parallel state run the events in a country is something no government can afford. I am under the impression that even the Castros have this clarity of mind.

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    • I’m not sure this could be defined as a “parallel state”. In Colombia, despite the penetration of institutions by the narcos, the state did fight back. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, presidential candidates paid with their lives. In Venezuela, if you see any elements of the state fighting the narcos, chances are it’s just a turf war.

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      • Parallel state is probably not the best image. My point is that Narco violence dominates the national agenda and consciousness, competing and even preempting the ability of the state to manage the national narrative and assert its authority (last week’s Maracay is a clear example).

        Trying to govern while heads are being dropped from overpasses (as in Mexico) or bombs are going off all over you capital (Bogota in the 80s) is very difficult.

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        • It is. But that’s not what’s happening here, and that’s part of my point. The narcos are not battling the state, they have established a symbiotic relationship with it. And the government is not trying to govern, it is trying to stay in power, which is a little different.

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          • Symbiotic for now.

            Making a partner of the Narco’s is like keeping a pet tiger. They are awfully cute in the begining, but as Toro said earlier in a comment section, you end up in the tiger riding business.

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      • Instead of talking about a “turf war” why don’t you investigate how many capos have been caught and extradited to the US and Colombia by the Venezuela authorities, say since 2009 when Chavez kicked out the drug running DEA. And the tons of drugs found and destroyed in the same period.

        It’s no use trying to make Cabello or the Venezuelan state look like Manuel Noriega as there is simply no evidence that the state is doing anything else but fight drug shipments. Now tell me otherwise.

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  2. Anyone know what the lefty rags (Aporrea, Correo del Orinoco) and talking heads (i.e., Telesur-Quito) are saying about this? Or are they playing ostrich with their head in the sand?

    Sorry for posing the question and not doing the digging myself. There’s only so much mirror-distortion that I can handle.

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    • it seems they have a gag-order and are awaiting further instructions. Basically they are in denial. The WSJ story did not gain much traction so things may quiet down again but for how long? The US is now fucking with their heads but this is very delicate. The Bolivarians are holding pawns so we have to proceed with caution. Let them unravel. What’s ironic is that the amount of cocaine entering Venezuela may double because Colombia stopped spraying. It’s going to get wicked.

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    • You never do any digging,syd and never have. It’s because you are too floja and prefer chismes instead of the truth. What a sad peron you are.

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  3. The money cuote: “Granted, all these governments have been hearing ghastly stories about Diosdado Cabello for years as it is. But “stories” isn’t the same thing as evidence: professionally collected, contrasted, checked, vetted evidence.”

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    • “evidence: professionally collected, contrasted, checked, vetted evidence.” – until details are made public all this “evidence” us just an illusion and hearsay.

      Or will the US keep the evidence secret, transport Cabello to a secret CIA prison in Poland, torture him and then execute him without a trial – as they can do since the US loves due process.

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      • No Arturo.

        As Obama has proven time and again, it is the judiciary and not the intelligence/military apparatus that is more than capable of convicting terrorists and the undesirables such as Diosdado Cabello.

        Unlike our country, the US does have real separation of powers, or at least light years from the norm in Venezuela.

        After all, God-given Hair is really just a common criminal. A rich one whose office happens to be in the Assembly, but just a regular criminal at the end of the day.

        How does it feel, Arturo, knowing that common criminals are in the highest echelons of power in Venezuela?

        Are you proud of them? Are you part of them?

        Did your vacation in North Korea fill you with more love for our Dear Leader?

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      • Arturo, you will have to wait until the indictments are unsealed. If they ever are. Once they are unsealed, you will be able to download them and mount your internet defense. Be patient my little Chavista friend.

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  4. “But drugs…that’s different. At some point, even the blockhead retread commies running the hemisphere’s diplomacy will have to accept you can’t apply normal (…)”

    The whole region is very dependent on the US economy, we tend to minimize the importance of that. The US has leverage to make its desires happen in the region.

    I remember when the Brazilian government was flirting with granting asylum to Snowden, and then US officials answered that the defiant act would be met with a harsh response from the US government, that was enough to make the Brazilian government change its stance on the matter completely a couple days later, and it started saying that it wasn’t even considering giving asylum to Snowden, that there wasn’t even a remote possibilty of that happening. It was hilarious! I have no idea of what the US said it would do in retaliation behind closed doors, but it was enough to make people like Dilma very, very afraid. That’s just one example, but we may extrapolate this situation to a lot of other similar situations, one of them being to harm Chavismo.

    The US can isolate Chavismo politically, the US can ruin Chavismo economically, the US can liberate Venezuela by working together with its partners in South America. If the US acts wisely, Cabello’s drug cartel might be the piece of the puzzle that may unite all the Americas against Chavismo. And will make Chavismo fight two fronts at the same time: inside the country and outside.

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    • “Cabello’s drug cartel might be the piece of the puzzle that may unite all the Americas against Chavismo” – what BS. Look at the support for Venezuela in UNASUR and CELAC.

      Chavismo is already fighting on several fronts and doing very well. It will also win the elctions in the last quarter of this year.

      If the US is so powerful how come it has not managed to overthrow chavismo since alst cventury? How come it failed in Vietnam? How come it has just left a mess in Ira and Libya after destroying the institutions of thise countries.

      Yes, the US is a great boon to humanity – just ask the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

      BTW – please give evidence that Cabello his running a drug cartel or just shiut the fuck up!!

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      • Heartwarming to know that Cabello can rely on you for his ratings on Con el mazo dando.

        Suggest you be more pro-active about your rants. As in, write the DEA to plead for Cabello’s innocence and demand proof of charges. Let us know the outcome.

        OT: how productive are you these days? That is, after you’ve queued up for hours to buy a few staples? Can you at least get something done, using your Imperio-produced I-pad?

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      • “Yes, the US is a great boon to humanity – just ask the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki!”

        The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the millions of Japanese and the 1/2 million American Soldiers estimated to died in the planned invasion of Japan.
        They are all quite grateful for the great boon to humanity offered by the US and its peaceful occupation of Japan.

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  5. The war on drugs is corroding Washington just as much as it’s corroding foreign centers of power. Calls to legalise drugs are growing louder: e.g. in Mexico, which suffers the most from imposing laws designed in Washington. Colombia has taken a big step by stopping spraying. Many American bureaucrats feed off the war on drugs — some of them may be aware that it’s doomed and that they need to make a move before it’s too late. Likewise the USA’s banking laws are overreaching so much that the next global financial crisis will cripple Washington as other countries decide to go their own ways.

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  6. I just hope the US wait until after the elections to do anything. I think it will be good for the government if the US arrest Godgiven Hair. Can you imagine the manipulations if Godgiven is arrested? that will be months and months of distractions and I can see the government increasing in popularity because they will be able to blame the US for everything again and confirm that the US is out to get them.

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    • You – my friend – have the clear picture. Anti US feeling runs high and yes, it can be counted in vites as the opposition cannot disagree with the US for fear of losing its funding.

      Perhaps others on this blog might also take this on board as they contribute to yet another election loss of the opposition they are so endeared to.

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  7. D.C. et.al., are probably more Venezuela in-transit facilitators/protectors than a far-reaching drug cartel with their own international partners. The drugs are sent North, Northeast, Northwest, not South, which, if anything, includes certain suppliers (Bolivia), and facilitators (Ecuador), which will not turn against the Venezuelan Government, which also owes huge billion $ sums to Brazilian/Colombian suppliers, as well as large sums to Argentine/Uruguayan/Panamanian/etc. suppliers. and, in turn, don’t expect these nations’ governments to turn against the Venezuelan Government on “moral” grounds. “Billete mata galan (Shannon)”…..

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  8. Evidence Toro? What evidence? Nothing has been revealed. No witnesses named………….and the gringos never lie about these matters or WMDs, do they?

    I guess a case of comments and rumors could be made against you and your column in FP Transitions accusing you of working for CIA or Mossad. Feels good, doesn’t it when accusations fly with no evidence to back them up – except trial by corporate media.

    Since the early days of CC you have succeeded in dragging yourself fown to the level of the gutter press in your desperation to somehow oust the Revolition.

    Interesting for you if this piece is brought to the attention of the authorities here so as to give you a warm welcome when you arrive on these shores again. You can then give your evidence to accuse thesecond most important politican in the country your reasons for writing this crap.

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    • Shouldn’t you be writing about the ‘economic war’ or how people dying and suffering due to a lack of basic medical supplies is all a big lie! Or maybe how crime is actually completely under control and that wanting to feel safe enough to leave your house at night without getting murdered is actually a bourgeoisie desire so it’s irrelevant? Or maybe you could write an article detailing how inflation isn’t 200%, it’s only 60%, and it doesn’t actually effect purchasing power because the spirit of Chavez trumps the laws of economics? Oh, I know!….you could write about how the military and high government officials having their own fully stocked stores to shop at (while the rest of the country deals with every worsening shortages and queues) is actually a sign of healthy, vibrant democracy!

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      • Rory – since you are trying to deflect from the post then i will aslo write an OT comment for you.

        To be honest, Rory, you are full of the garbage published in the media. Anyone can go to an IPSFA store these days. Go to Los Proceeres and see for yourself. 200% inflation – it could be 300% or more thanks to the economic war managed by the US.

        I prefer to write about the 50 million people on food stamps in the US and the black youths beung massacred by white pólice officers and the millions of foreclosures still taking place. I prefer to write about the depleted uranium left in the Iraqui desert and blown by the wind causing a cáncer epidemic in Iraquí kods. Or the 500,000 Iraqui children taht died due to the embargo against Iraq in the 1990’s and which Medeleine Albright said “was a price worth paying”.Or the birth defects still being caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam. Or the torture in Abu Graib and the limbo of Guantanamo. Or th minors in US jails never to be let out. Or the drugs being consumeed by 40% of the US population.

        All these things exist in your “ideal world” Rory.

        Never mind – despite all your propaganda the PSUV will triumph and then you can cry fraud once again.

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        • Yes, the USA is just so awful! People are being massacred everywhere! People are starving in the streets! That’s why almost everyone who can has fled Venezuela and went there, or is trying to go there. (Just the other day, an employee at the embassy here in DC asked my wife to find her a gringo husband because there is no future in Venezuela and she doesn’t want to go back). That is why those filthy rich Chavista officials sanctioned got so darn upset when they found out they couldn’t vacation there and buy their second homes there anymore!

          Pretty sad, as Venezuela has turned into a dystopia you have nothing left to fill your empty soul with but your unending hatred of the US. I guess at this point it’s too hard to admit the revolution, after 16 years of rule and the benefit of the biggest and longest oil boom in history, has been a complete and utter failure. Hell, even “the Monk” admits Venezuela is a laughingstock! Well, I’m sure it’s easier to just blame everything on the US and wait for the next Daniella Cabello music video…

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          • Arturo, dear sir, I must retract the comment about your ’empty soul’. Your soul may be full for all I know. Good day.

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      • Of course it was not a lie but who sent it there? Give me the evidence, names, conviction or anything concrete. I am intrigued to know instead of hearing “trial by blogger idios like you”.

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        • If you want evidence re the Paris ton of cocaine, then perhaps you should not be asking me for evidence but asking the GOV and its component parts for evidence. You know, them as are responsible for the operation of Maiquetia, where the ton of cocaine was put on the Paris-bound jet? Last I heard, a “blogger idio” like me wasn’t responsible for the operation of Maiquetia.
          Just sayin’

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    • Arturo keeps ranting about evidence. And yet where is the evidence and indictments for the dozens of magnicididios claimed against Chavez and Maduro?

      Actually, he sounds frantic. But, I suppose seeing your world crumbling around you will do that.

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      • Perhaps Prozac is difficult to come by these days. Off-meds, Arturo’s histrionics have gained a multiplier effect. As for his rants for evidence, here’s another way he’s unable to see balance:

        Porque no presentan "una prueba" en contra de Leopoldo,Ledezma,Simonovis,Afiuni y Ceballos.— Alberto Ravell (@AlbertoRavell) May 20, 2015

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        • Besides which, no amount of “proof” would ever be sufficient for the true believers. You could show them video tape, and they would say it was faked. You could show them signed confessions, and they would say they are coerced. But, they are perfectly willing to believe that anyone in opposition is guilty of anything, just on the basis of anonymous hearsay.

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          • Example in support of your contention: the Chavista/PSF reaction to what was found on Raul Reyes’s laptop.

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            • Heheheh, the old chaburro strategy of “stick your head between your buttcheeks” to avoid listening the truth is at work again! xD

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  9. Hey! Nice to see you again around here Arturo, a.k.a. “Get a Clue”, a.k.a. Betty, a.k.a. Garth.

    By the way, very clever trick trying to disguise yourself by using the name of a former stupid chavista who used to come here. However, the other Arturo couldn’t write very well in English, and your writing style gave it away. Your obnoxious shyster way of arguing is very distinct.

    Too bad you will be soon blocked once again…

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  10. this message is for Quico. Re: Diosdado’s power. He is NOT powerful. He’s both scary and scared. Have faith brother. I’m very impressed so far. It seems the right people are in place. For once we have them running scared.

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  11. Arturo, you will have to wait unti the indictments are unsealed. Then you will be able to download them in .pdf. Then you can mount your defese ok? Patience.

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  12. one more thing, indictments are going to be unsealed. They did not leak this to then not unseal them. This is where its going. Travel restrictions and asset bans will be placed on this group. Diosdado does not have the support of Havana. The situation is fluid and they are running scared.

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    • Not scared, much less running. Have you seen my Polar belly? My FARC buddies are doing just fine welcoming American tourists in Havana or Bogota.

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  13. This one’s very interesting, specially the quote that opens the article:

    “Cómprales a las FARC toda la mercancía que producen, toda la agricultura y el ganado. Págales un primer plazo de quinientos millones de dólares. ¡Le vamos a quebrar el espinazo a Uribe, pa’ joderlo!”

    (“Buy to the FARC all the merchandise they produce, all the farming and cattle. Pay them a first installment of five hundred million dollars. We are going to break Uribe’s spine to fuck him up!”)

    http://www.abc.es/internacional/20150520/abci-chavez-venezuela-narcoestado-201505192126.html?ns_campaign=GS_MS&ns_mchannel=abc_internacional&ns_source=TW&ns_fee=0&ns_linkname=CM

    To be honest I’m not surprised to know that the corpse ordered to have Venezuela filled with drugs just to get some more money to tighten his grip onto the power some more, the “god of the poor” resulted to be little more than another drug dealer and nothing more.

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  14. Greetings from Brazil!

    Once again I’d like to call your atention to the fact that weapons originated from Venezuela are being found in great numbers in the hands of drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro. If this DEA investigation gains traction and becomes public this will be a huge embarassement for Dilma Roussef and PT at a moment when they are very weak. I cannot see how they could sustain their support to the venezuelan regime after that, inclundig those financing from BNDES.
    On this later issue, federal prossecutors are now investigating former President Lula because there are evidence of what is called in Brazilian law “influence traficking”.
    Furthermore, two days ago the Brazilian government lost a vote in the Senate regarding the appointment of a diplomat to the OEA. This was the first time ever that that has happened. The main case against the diplomat: “philobolivarianism”.
    That is all to say that the idea that Venezuela might become a pariah state is not very far fetched at this point. I’d say that we are clearly following that route, as far as Brazil is concerned. I don’t have the slightly idea of how this will play inside Venezuela, but it is not good news for the regime.

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    • Vladimir, here is a link about of what you’ve said: ( http://odia.ig.com.br/noticia/rio-de-janeiro/2015-03-08/derrama-de-fuzis-fortalece-trafico-e-desafia-a-seguranca.html )

      And Brazil is following this same route since 2003. As former president Lula once said: “enquanto o Chávez vai numa Ferrari a 200 km por hora, eu vou num fusquinha a 60 km/h, mas chegaremos ao mesmo lugar”.

      Translation>

      “While Chávez Frives a ferrari at 200 km/h, I drive a beetle at 60 km/h, but we will reach the same destination.”

      Well, Chávez crashed the ferrari and died, and Lula’s beetle has its engine broke now. The Bolivarian OEA diplomat being refused by the Senate proves that.

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      • I would like to add that I credit the unprecedented refusal of a diplomat by the Senate to Lilian Tintori and Mitzy Ledezma! To a great extent, we owe them that one.

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        • Well, many countries do owe a lot to Venezuela’s infamous debacle. Especially Spain and Brazil. We have shown them what NOT to do..

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