Now the LA Times has publishd--on its Opinion page--a new potential complication any who would engage in hero-worship with Chavez on the dais.
Venezuela has become a major hub for international crime syndicates. What attracts them is not the local market; what they really love are the excellent conditions Venezuela offers to anyone in charge of managing a global criminal network.The piece goes on to emphasize that human trafficking represents one of the criminal elements of greatest concern to the nations watching Venezuela.
A nation at the crossroads of South America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe, Venezuela's location is ideal. Borders? Long, scantly populated and porous. Financial system? Large and with easy-to-evade governmental controls. Telecommunications, ports and airports? The best that oil money can buy. U.S. influence? Nil. Corrupt politicians, cops, judges and military officers? Absolutely: Transparency International ranked Venezuela a shameful 162 out of 179 counties on its corruption perception index. Chavez's demonstrated interest in confronting criminal networks during his eight years in power? Not much.
Hat tip to Power Line.