More Venezuelan Officials Arrested

Friday, July 25, 2014
This week's indictments against Venezuelan government officials for narcotics trafficking are very similar to those in the 1990s against Cuban regime officials.

Unfortunately, in the 1990s, the Clinton Administration made the political decision to scrap some of the Cuban indictments, namely the federal indictment prepared against General Raul Castro.

Thus far, it seems the Obama Administration has the gumption that the Clinton Administration lacked to proceed with these cases -- or it's just less willing to intervene in prosecutions.

Recently, President Obama deflected pressure from French President Francois Hollande to intervene in the BNP Paribas case.

Obama stated, "The tradition of the United States is that the president does not meddle in prosecutions," he told reporters in Brussels. I do not pick up the phone and tell the attorney general how to prosecute cases that have been brought. I do not push for settlements of cases that have been brought. Those are decisions that are made by an independent Department of Justice."

Kudos.

From The Miami Herald:

Feds charge former high-ranking Chavez aides with protecting drug traffickers

A former Venezuelan judge and his family flew into Miami International Airport with plans for a prepaid, two-week vacation at Disney World.

Benny Palmeri-Bacchi never made it to the Orlando theme park.

He was among three Venezuelans charged in federal drug-trafficking cases that for the first time link former high-ranking officials in the late President Hugo Ch├ívez’s administration to Colombian cartel bosses, prosecutors said Thursday. The ex-officials are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for allowing traffickers to fly cocaine shipments from Venezuela to Mexico and the Caribbean for distribution in the United States.

On Thursday, Palmeri-Bacchi, 46, pleaded not guilty in Miami federal court to providing protection for a convicted Colombian drug trafficker who moved loads of cocaine from Venezuela to the United States.

The one-time judge, accused of impeding the trafficker’s extradition, is at the center of a long-secret criminal investigation targeting a former Venezuelan Interpol director, Rodolfo McTurk, as well as a former military intelligence chief, Hugo Carvajal Barrios, who was arrested in Aruba earlier this week.