|Valls, French Interior Minister, receiving|
Venezuelan exports to Paris
Let's start with the aerial flyby that was not.
Apparently Maduro would have us believe that the nasty US did not want him to fly over Puerto Rico. But now that some of the dust settled it looks that the maneuver was a clumsy one to try to paint the US as evil, a maneuver that has all the looks of conspiracy judging how fast the friends of Maduro supported him: Evo and Correa. Neuman at the New York Times gives the full details, including the unnecessary detour over Puerto Rico when seasoned travelers to Paris from Caracas know they fly over either Guadeloupe or Martinique, according to the winds. The AP also echoes the doubt about how much of the "incident" was messy Venezuelan organization or deliberate entrapment to score an easy point. Interestingly the scene also revealed once again that Venezuelan presidents travel though Cuban planes, perpetuating the mystery as to whatever happened to the two presidential airplanes of the country, the inherited one from pre Chavez and the custom made airbus that costed gazillions and yet flew only a very few years with Chavez on board.
Whatever the political points Maduro and co. were trying to score (in preparation of a UN performance in a few days?), it was erased by the announcement that in Paris an Air France flight was found with enough unregistered luggage inside to carry 200 + millions worth of cocaine. We are talking over a ton here, carried in 30 bags not linked to any of the passengers in the flight. Paris claims 6 arrests already. No word of any arrest in Venezuela yet....... By the way, the French Interior minister says it was the biggest drug catch in the Parisian area ever.
So many questions.... First, let me start reminding the reader that there are a few high officials of the Venezuelan regime on the DEA shit list for drug trafficking, an update kindly provided in relation to this news by the LAHT. Thus it is no surprise that Caracas airport at Maiquetia would be sooner or later the origin of a major drug scandal. After all, when you are a high ranking military in a narco-state eventually you do not see why you should not start using regular airports instead of country side landing strips for your airborne cargo.
Second, this level of gumption, 30 suitcases, through a major international airline, implies levels of narco corruption inside Maiquetia that are simply unexpected. 30 suitcases are not the same thing than trying to pass a single suit case with someone waiting for it in some European airport. We are talking major cooperation here, that has to include not only someone inside Air France but also the security system of the airport and its management. Amen of the reception committee in Paris. But that the French caught it and have already 6 arrests speaks volumes. The catch was dated on September 11 and published only today. Surely by today the French government must have warned the Venezuelan one and asked for a local investigation of which not a whiff was heard yet. Again: Venezuela is now a narco-state and arresting a single military (at least at the level of colonel for such an operation) would imply a major unraveling. So we can expect nothing, besides a pro forma declaration that an investigation will be done (note: they even got the date wrong, September 20 when it was the 11).
Third, for those who have had the misfortune to go through Maiquetia security this year. The Nazional Guard and the bolivarian militia make a big show to register luggage before check in, supposedly to find drugs and assorted stuff. They go as far as throwing to the garbage your snacks and presents (or keeping it for themselves) and even manhandle your underwear and sniff women's garments. Sniffed by the guard, not a dog. I know that from more than one person. I barely escaped the search last May because of a glitch in their system. Check-in lines at Maiquetia are horrendous because of that unjust search when in the past you had special scanners that have now disappeared, gone who knows where. Curiously on returns flights the search is light if any.......
If anyone has still a doubt, Venezuela is a Narco State now and I wonder if the huff and puff of Maduro against the US was not in prevision of they knowing what was coming from France......
PS: added later. I wonder if the "defection" of Rafael Isea, former Chavez red boy, minister of wherever there was big money to manage, former Aragua state governor, may have any link to these stories. Isea after a week of rumors confirmed himself that he was in the US, resigning a juicy job at a revolutionary joint to finish a Masters he started 9 years ago.....
Isea was pointed out in major money laundering activities and was about to be formally investigated by the regime, now that he does not benefit anymore of Chavez protection. He is reported having made a deal with the DEA in the US, though he denies it. Then again he does that only through twitter, unable to account for himself in person in front of journalists.
You draw your own conclusions. But I can assure you that Isea is just one among the many chavista crooks and that it is all a matter of internal account settings. Mafia style.