This week, arrested Venezuelan drug lord Walid Makled claimed to have materials proving that Hugo Chavez, his close associates, and Hezb’allah is deeply involved in global cocaine trafficking. He was arrested in Colombia, and US ally President Juan Manuel Santos reportedly offered him to the US for extradition. At the very least, his would have been a wonderful opportunity for intelligence collection on FARC, the Chavez regime, Islamist groups operating in Latin America. After the US turned him down, Santos decided to return Makled to his native Venezuela (where he’ll be far outside the reach of US intelligence, and he may even disappear permanently.) El Universal is reporting now that Santos was perplexed when Eric Holder’s Department of Justice deemed Makled simply a “petty criminal” and saw the chance to have him in American custody of little significance.
Why would Eric Holder and the Obama administration pass up the chance to interrogate and try this Latin American drug kingpin? In so doing, they gave up an excellent chance to unravel a criminal network that ties Islamist terror groups with narco-traffickers and America’s adversaries in this continent. Today on Secure Freedom Radio, Frank Gaffney spoke to Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL) about the DOJ’s shocking carelessness on this issue.
“I can tell you, however and I’ve had multiple confirmations of this is that the government of Colombia offered this individual, this dangerous individual, to the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Justice says, ‘We do not want him.’”
Listen to the audio here:
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Colombian government declined to comment.