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So we're bringing that to discuss some of all policies towards Latin America.
Former ambassador to Venezuela also Wright who is also a former assistant US secretary for the Western Hemisphere mr.
ambassador thank you very much for joining us today great to have you here.
Thank you very much my pleasure of -- as we as we just listening to the president talking about that drugs and combating that.
Incredible flow of drugs that comes into the country.
From South America.
Always doing enough and -- -- mall can we do with when all.
Sorry to say we're not doing enough we need to attack the consumption.
Side of the equation.
In the United States we -- the world's largest consumer of narcotics and I think that -- Penalties should be stronger the same time.
We have to deal with the narcotics traffickers.
And in the rest of the world as well.
But so -- how do we deal how do we help.
Those countries which happens.
The drug can't -- problems.
How do we help them.
Deal -- because certainly.
-- front -- take Mexico for instance president Calderon has as it -- these huge crackdown over the last five years also.
Eight doesn't seem to be working it's not slowing the flow.
Well one of the reasons it doesn't seem to be working is because of the sheer size of the problem is estimated -- 100000.
In the drug industry in Mexico.
That's anywhere from mob of that the people are anywhere from the drug.
Kingpins who finance the the traffic and make billions of dollars in profits too didn't -- that killers that they hire on the streets or to the careers who carry.
The narcotics across the border into the United States it's a huge problem.
The the Bush Administration to deal with us through -- made which is a a plan to give the Government of Mexico 01 point four billion dollars -- military assistance and intelligence assistance.
And it it should be moving faster frankly it hasn't moved as fast as it should.
And I think that that part of that is our responsibility.
And another of the issues we.
Have -- Latin America are those countries and quite frankly don't like us.
ambassador you were you were the ambassador the one of those Venezuela.
-- we have ongoing problems obviously with Hugo Chavez that.
I think also of the Ecuadorian -- -- file Korean no friend to the United States forced the closure of the man to -- -- which was important in drug interdiction.
Operations how do we deal with those countries -- -- you -- diplomacy when frankly they don't -- it.
Well this question is is directly related to previous questions of our narcotics you -- -- saw.
I was the United States ambassador to -- well under President Reagan.
And this is an example of how we have certain inconsistencies.
In some of the criticisms that are made by Latin American countries they just admitting card -- -- we just many Cartagena 33 has -- state from the entire hemisphere.
-- the Venezuelan delegation was headed by the foreign minister because -- -- -- -- his cancer he decided not to go.
But look Chavez's government is full of drug kingpins there are nine people.
In very high positions including the ministry of defence of child is his top military man who have been designated as a drug kingpins.
By the US department of treasury -- -- the Latin American countries.
Sit down and talk with a government that has that many people involved in narcotics trafficking.
And -- this is the same countries by the way you mention Venezuela and Ecuador.
Those are two of the most anti American -- right now in the hemisphere it is not an accident that they are both taking actions that affect.
And in encourage drug trafficking.
Some of our view is weighing in -- ambassador on the drug trafficking issues saying you know nevermind that the mom never mind any of the the policies of helping down that.
If we -- Hewitt -- borders then that would solve the issue right or wrong.
The securing the border has to be probably the first step but that doesn't mean you can't take it.
Parallel steps at the same time.
We can't just secure the border and ignore what happens on the other side of the war.
We have to have intelligent programs to develop the economies for example and help those -- -- developed economies so that people can get decent jobs and not.
-- lured by the narcotics traffic at the same time we have decent jobs north of the border as well and yet there are lots of people -- not involved.
In the narcotics industry so just economic development alone is not going to do it.
You have to have a long streak law enforcement on both sides sides of the war.
But -- so.
We we do we put strict -- force them both sides of the border but we haven't.
Countries that are either failing.
As Mexico is a very close to becoming a failing country with some -- all countries that simply don't want to help us.
That just seems to it just seems to me mr.
MS -- giving -- -- cynical about it.
But it seems to me that this is a war.
We can't -- it's a wall we have to learn how to live when it.
Look that first let me just say that I I have to differ with you Mexico's.
Mexico's far from a failed state Mexico is a growing.
Country the narcotics industry is very localized -- -- it's a little bit.
Like what happened in Washington DC not too long -- the in the city that -- where I'm talking to you from.
-- very -- a large very high rate of crime but the crime was localize it didn't affect the majority of the people that's what's happening in Mexico.
The the narcotics trafficking is still relatively localized it can be dealt with.
Somebody has to be dealt with -- -- with a balanced approach and you're actually right that there are some countries that don't wanna help.
And I think that we should highlight those -- wonder how many people for example now.
That what I just mentioned earlier that that there are nine high level officials of the government of Venezuela.
Who have did there's so much evidence against them that they have been in effect indicted the equivalent of an indictment this designation by the office of Foreign Assets Control.
At the Treasury Department as a drug kingpins these people involved in the narcotics trafficking and yet they are.
Ministers of state of the government of Venezuela or they -- the military uniform of the government -- and swallow -- we have to deal with that.
Yep that's what -- but our friends in Latin America have to deal with that as well right they can't just they can't just invite him to guard the -- And in this in this false moral equivalent of equivalents -- if the government of Venezuela for example or go to Bolivia.
What does it -- allowed the increase of of Coca growing.
By four full 400%.
According to some of the sources.
They just divide in the car to head -- if they were just you know it's just another country and they're not.
And that's a very interesting point I messed that up before -- let you go one final one I have to -- somebody who has served in Latin American countries and obviously be aware of and seen the movements of the US Secret Service in those countries when presidents -- visited.
Your reaction to the prostitution scandal surprised horrified or -- you expected.
Believe it or not.
There have been worse cases in this -- by the Secret Service but.
Several members of the United States congress when they've gone to Latin America have requested.
From US embassies have taken to a local brothel.
One such member I'll mention names is senator Chris Dodd.
Our ambassador in Honduras.
-- Griggs wrote a column after he retired.
Where he detailed.
-- how Chris Dodd.
-- would that kind of an example being set by United States senator.
I'm not surprised that much lower ranking individuals but who still shouldn't have done it.
In the Secret Service perhaps thought that does something like this could be forgiven.
All right ambassador also -- former assistant US secretary for the Western Hemisphere great to have you with us ambassador thanks for your perspective.
My pleasure all right.
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