Friday, August 19, 2005

After meeting with Chávez, Senator Specter tells Rumsfeld to stop telling truth

Senator Arlen Specter is concerned that US talk about the revolutionary Venezuelan regime's political subversion of other countries will provoke dictator Hugo Chávez not to cooperate on counternarcotics issues.

The Judiciary Committee chairman recently took Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to task for saying that Caracas and Havana have been "unhelpful" in the unfolding political chaos in Bolivia.

Visiting South America, Rumsfeld publicly voiced concerns that the Venezuelan and Cuban regimes have been busy fomenting trouble in Bolivia.

“There certainly is evidence that both Cuba and Venezuela have been involved in the situation in Bolivia in unhelpful ways,” Rumsfeld told reporters.

That was too much for Senator Specter, who had just returned from Caracas where he met with Chávez, who has threatened to cut off cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Chávez expelled US military advisers from Venezuela more than a year ago, and he is widely believed to be looking for ways to boot the DEA.

Specter immediately bit Chávez's bait. He wrote Rumsfeld: “I suggest it may be very helpful to US efforts to secure Venezuela's co-operation in our joint attack on drug interdiction if the rhetoric would be reduced.”


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