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27 July 2010
Drug smuggling via Venezuela has exploded since President Hugo Chavez cut all contacts with U.S. law-enforcement agencies in 2005. According to a recent UN report, Venezuela is the departure point for 41% of all cocaine shipments to Europe. "Parts of the Venezuelan military are probably trafficking with drugs and other stuff, and Chavez is not exactly motivated to crack down on them because he needs the military," said Vanda Felbab-Brown of the Brookings Institute. "He is allowing them to dabble in the trade."