Colombia: Paying For The Revolution


June 19, 2012:  While Colombia and Venezuela cooperate in finding and capturing drug gang leaders operating along their mutual border, there is still a lot of drug gang and FARC activity along the border. The drug operations are still going on despite the recent aerial bombing of over 30 illegal airstrips on the Venezuelan side of the border.

The corruption inside Venezuela makes this border lawlessness possible but not for long. The Venezuelan economy is a mess and political and social chaos is brewing. Price controls have driven many companies out of business. Shortages are handled with imports, using oil revenue. There is not enough oil income to deal with all these problems. The government has borrowed heavily to prop up the economy until after the October 7 presidential elections. Economists and bankers warn that there will be a major recession then because the price controls make it impossible to produce and sell a lot of goods inside Venezuela and the country has reached the limits of its borrowing. Foreign lenders are worried about the ability to repay loans, especially in light of the decline in the price of oil. The Chavez government is betting on an oil price increase to save them. Chavez has run the national economy into the ground with such gambits and if he survives his cancer and wins another term as president he will have no cash or credit to sustain his ruined (by mismanagement and corruption) economy. His followers are planning a more oppressive police state as a solution, whether their leader survives his cancer or not.

June 14, 2012: The Colombian legislature is now willing to offer FARC a more generous amnesty. This one would allow forgiveness for those who committed major felonies (murder, kidnapping) and allow FARC leaders to enter politics. There are still a lot of Colombians opposed to such generous peace terms but attitudes are changing.

June 6, 2012: In the northwest (Antioquia State) police and soldiers found and attacked a FARC base camp. At least eight rebels were killed and many more wounded.

June 4, 2012: The navy seized a smugglers boat 110 kilometers off the coast and found it was carrying 2.6 tons of cocaine. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the capture. The drug gangs are using these boats to move drugs to Central America, where another smuggling gang moves the drugs further north.




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