From narcotics’ trafficking as an antiimperialist weapon to narco-state dictatorships in the Americas

Carlos Sánchez Berzaín

The dictatorship from Cuba always used anti-imperialism to justify the violation of human rights, state-sponsored terrorism, and the misery that it produces. The past century presented narcotics’ trafficking as an antiimperialist weapon to attack the United States with the intent to destroy its youth. In the 21st century, with the expansion of dictatorships in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, it applied the same criminal doctrine and Castroism, turned into 21st Century Socialism, has gone from not being a narcotic trafficking participant as an antiimperialist alibi, to nowadays become the organization of dictatorships and narco-states in the Americas.

The concept of what constitutes a narco-state is best summarized as “narco=drugs and state=a set of governmental institutions”. It is “a new expression that describes those countries whose political institutions are, in a significant way, influenced by narcotics’ trafficking and whose leaders are, simultaneously, government officials and members of illicit narcotics’ trafficking networks, sheltered in and protected by their legal empowerment”

In the sixties, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara claimed on reiterated as well as long speeches the revolutionary fallacy of narcotics trafficking as a weapon to destroy the United States, justifying the commission of crime as a resource against imperialism whose youth -as conceived in the Castroist plan- should be eliminated by drug consumption. For them, this dictatorial narrative was useful to present one of the most serious crimes as an instrument in a process they so-called revolution.

As evidenced in Chapter 11 titled “The Cuban Connection” of the book “The King of Cocaine” Cuba’s dictatorship went from speeches to facts and Fidel Castro, personally, participated in an allegiance with narcotics’ traffickers; Pablo Escobar from Colombia and Roberto Suarez from Bolivia. When this trafficking with Cuba was discovered, as the first and only narco-state of the region, the Cuban dictator attempted to coverup his crimes with the execution by firing squad of all involved (under his command) and assassinated General Arnaldo Ochoa and Colonel Tony De La Guardia.

The participation of the Cuban dictatorship in narcotics’ trafficking is clear with the creation, sustainment, protection and political role granted to the so-called Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC in Spanish), as well as the so-called National Liberation Army (ELN in Spanish), both groups are guerrillas and narcotics’ traffickers. In the FARC’s case, they imposed as a “Peace Treaty” the impunity of a criminal group despite the fact the guerrillas and narcotics’ trafficking continue under the argument -used to deceive- they are “FARC’s dissidents” and in the ELN’s case, the dictatorship currently protects in Cuba the heads of these narco-terrorists.

With the expansion of its dictatorial model to Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, they simply incorporated these satellite regimes and their operators. It is this way that along with 21st Century Socialism or Castrochavism, nowadays we have the narco-states of the Americas, namely; Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua all of whom, using their condition as States, as subjects of international law, and participating in international organizations openly condone, promote, and defend narcotics’ trafficking.

In his speech at the United Nations, labeled as number 883, in April of 2016 “Evo Morales requested the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) be dissolved after having demonstrated the failure of the War on Drugs”, repeating the over 50-year-old false and mistaken Castroist idea that the “war against narcotics’ trafficking is an instrument of imperialism to oppress the peoples” and with the backing of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua requesting a “United Nations’ Resolution” to end DEA and the war against narcotics’ trafficking.

Venezuela’s dictator Nicolas Maduro and members of his regime, cabinet, and judicial courts have been accused of narcotics’ trafficking by tribunals in New York with outstanding warrants for their arrest and a bounty from 10 to 15 million dollars for the capture of each. An important list of government officials from the Venezuelan regime are sought for extradition to penal courts in the United States.

Recent international press reports prove that five former heads of law enforcement of Evo Morales and Luis Arce’s Plurinational State of Bolivia “were arrested for their link to narcotics’ trafficking”. INFOBAE reported that “the DEA revealed that the former head of the antinarcotics’ police from Evo Morales’ government provided armed protection to narcotics’ trafficking in Bolivia”. The newspaper El Deber reported “there are ten international narcotics’ trafficking mafias with a presence in Bolivia” and more, because that is what a narco-state is all about.

What is noteworthy, facing the dictatorships from and/or narco-states of; Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, is that those states that are neither narco-states nor dictatorships, maintain their relations with them and tolerate the threat and permanent conspiracy against their nations.

*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.

Translated from Spanish by Edgar L. Terrazas

Published in Spanish by Sunday January 30, 2022.

“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”.