" ... 'The Obama administration has again attacked Venezuela. He said that Venezuela and I, even citing my name, do not cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking. The country that most supports drug trafficking on this planet is the United States.' ... "
CARACAS (AFP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday condemned a US report on global counternarcotics, saying President Barack Obama is continuing the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush.
"Is there a new government in the United States or is it Bush still in power? Obama seems to be a continuation of the Bush era. But it doesn't matter to me. Regardless of US imperialism, this revolution will continue its course," Chavez said in a speech.
"The Obama administration has again attacked Venezuela. He said that Venezuela and I, even citing my name, do not cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking. The country that most supports drug trafficking on this planet is the United States.
"The United States is the world's leading consumer of drugs. Why can't they stop drugs from coming into their country? Obama, you take care of your business and I'll take care of mine. Don't mess with me, Mr Obama," he added.
The US Department of State noted in its global counternarcotics report on Friday that Venezuela continues to be a major transit point for drug trafficking in the region and refuses to cooperate with US drug interdiction programs.
"Geography, corruption, a weak judicial system, incompetent and in some cases complicit security forces, and lack of international counternarcotics cooperation make (Venezuela) vulnerable to illicit drug transshipments," the report said.
But Chavez shot back, saying his government "has beaten back the drug trade like never before. The DEA (US Drug Enforcement Agency) supported drug trafficking and overthrowing the government."
Venezuela suspended a bilateral counternarcotics agreement with the United States in 2005, accusing DEA agents of acting as spies.
The US has since refuse to provide Venezuela with an annual certification granted to countries that cooperate in the fight against drugs.