President Juan Manuel Santos has a drug trafficker, Walid García, wanted both by Venezuela and the United States, and is extraditing him to Venezuela. Fascinating move, and obviously he feels convinced that he will face justice there.
Also of note is the fact that the drug trafficker himself, as well as many opponents of the Chávez government, argues that Chávez is by extension tied to drugs.
On my payroll I had [government] ministers, the siblings of ministers, generals, admirals, rear admirals, colonels and five deputies from the National Assembly, each of whom I gave a late-model car to," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
"If I am a narcotrafficker, the whole Chavez government is a narcotrafficker.
Makled also has said he contributed $2 million to Chavez for a political campaign.
True, drug-related corruption is deeply entrenched in a number of Latin American countries. Extrapolating to the entire government, and to the administration itself, is not nearly so clear. Few, for example, would accuse Felipe Calderón (or Alvaro Uribe, for that matter) of complicity. The overall point, though, is that clearly Santos feels comfortable, and that is a very different turn for Venezuelan-Colombian relations.