In dictatorships and/or narco-states of 21st Century Socialism, crime supplants politics

Carlos Sánchez Berzaín

The non-democratic regimes from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua -whose political self-imposed denomination is “21st Century Socialism”- hold power by wielding state-sponsored terrorism with political prisoners, persecuted and exiled and the peculiar characteristic of being narco-states. In order for them to have impunity for their crimes, they seek to indefinitely retain power, and to do that they commit all sorts of crime they pretend to disguise as political acts. Reality reveals that in Americas’ dictatorships and/or narco-states, crime has supplanted and controls politics.

Crimes against humanity are “…certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against a civilian population and with the knowledge thereof”. They are indefeasible and are determined by the Rome Statute as: “assassination, genocide, slavery, deportation or forcible relocation of a population, imprisonment in violation of the standards of international law, torture, rape, … inhuman acts that attempt against a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. . .”.

Organized crime is defined and fought by the United Nations’ Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, or the Palermo Convention, as an “Organized Crime Group” if it meets four characteristics: “a group of three or more persons that has been deliberately formed, that exists for a period of time, that commits crimes in a deliberate way and for the purpose of obtaining financial or material benefits that are punishable by law with sentences of four or more years in jail.”

Narcotics’ trafficking is “the business of illegal drugs, whether addictive or not, principally cocaine. It is a phenomenon that involves several crimes, from the illicit coca leaf harvesting, to its fabrication, distribution, sale, market control, recycling of drugs, trafficking, asset laundering…”. There is compulsory international legislation; the Single Convention of 1961 on Narcotic Drugs, amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

Applying this international referential framework to shown facts of how the regimes from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua wield power, demonstrates the commission of crimes against humanity institutionalized through State-sponsored terrorism, as proven -right now- by their use of their Judicial Branch systems turned into executioners that have prisoners and sentence hundreds of innocent; in Cuba due to the 11 July 2021 protests, in Venezuela to hang-on to power with torture and assassinations in the jails, in Bolivia with 72 political prisoners and in Nicaragua with prisoners and others sentenced, all a replication of what Cuba does, the same Castroism mechanism of the 20th century now converted into Castrochavism, or 21st Century Socialism.

The Castrochavist dictatorships’ barbarism against human rights is aggravated by the commission, protection and defense of narcotics’ trafficking crimes by the governments and regimes of 21st Century Socialism. Cuba’s dictatorship, implicated since the sixties with their criminal thesis of using “narcotics’ trafficking as a weapon against north-American imperialism” to its May of 2019 shipment of 1,517 packages of cocaine to Istanbul, manifested as a coal shipment and seized in Panama.

The entire inner-circle leadership of Venezuela’s dictatorship, starting with Nicolas Maduro, have been identified as the “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles in Spanish) and have been prosecuted by United States’ courts with an international order for their arrest and a bounty from 10 to 15 million dollars for the capture of each criminal. Venezuela is identified as the hub for the trafficking of cocaine from the FARC, ELN, and the coca-leaf harvesters unions of Evo Morales in Bolivia.

Since 2012, Nicaragua is reported as a State in which “narcotics’ trafficking has gotten stronger and is generating a lot of money”. The Strategic Studies and Public Policies Institute (IEEPP in Spanish), a non-governmental organization that provides information based on its monitoring of the Government’s institutions states that “25 Nicaraguan groups support international narcotics’ trafficking”.

Recently, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) -expelled by Evo Morales from Bolivia- has reminded Bolivians and the entire world that Bolivia is a narco-State by known narcotics’ trafficking charges presented in United States federal court against Maximiliano Davila, former Antinarcotics’ Czar of Evo Morales, with a bounty of five million dollars for his capture. As the accused is in the hands of the Bolivian government, the United States has asked for his extradition, something that has triggered a violent reaction of the dictatorship’s operators in Bolivia that is summarized by headlines of the Pagina 7 newspaper which read “MAS (Movement Towards Socialism political party) closes ranks to shield Evo and avoid Davila’s extradition.”.

Everything shows Evo Morales as the head and builder of a narco-State, he even publicly confessed so, before the United Nations. He is identified as the head of the “Chapare Cartel” while the newspaper El Deber publishes headlines saying “Bolivia re-enters the list of countries who send drugs to the United States” and Pagina 7 reports “The Brazilian cartel PCC has land and its center of operations in the Chapare” all while political persecution intensifies as yet another confession of the criminals.

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

Translated from Spanish by Edgar L. Terrazas

Published in Spanish by Sunday February 6, 2022.

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