View Full Version : Venezuela Says Can Work With FBI, DEA, But Not CIA

06-21-2005, 01:11 PM
Venezuela says can work with FBI, DEA but not CIA

By Pascal Fletcher
Mon Jun 20, 2005 06:35 PM ET

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela is ready to work with U.S law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and drug-trafficking but not with the CIA, because it is trying to topple President Hugo Chavez, a minister said on Monday.

Interior Minister Jesse Chacon swore in the new chief of Venezuela's DISIP national intelligence service, Col. Henry Rangel, and said the service was willing to work with foreign counterparts, including agencies from the United States.

"In the area of drugs, of course we'll keep on working with the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) and with all those organizations with which we're cooperating against terrorism," Chacon told reporters.

He said Venezuela also would work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation but he added: "It would be difficult for us to work with the CIA ... which has toppled governments in Chile, Guatemala, Grenada and Nicaragua and is trying to topple this one as well."

Ties between Chavez and Washington have soured badly in the past few years as the left-wing president has fiercely criticized President Bush and forged alliances with Communist-ruled Cuba and other anti-U.S. states.

But Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, remains a leading energy supplier to the United States and has maintained some level of anti-crime and anti-narcotics cooperation with the DEA and FBI.

Chavez, a firebrand nationalist who has ruled for more than six years, frequently accuses the CIA of plotting to overthrow or kill him. U.S. officials dismiss his charges as ridiculous.

Since Chavez survived a short-lived coup in 2002, which he said was backed by the United States, bilateral military and intelligence cooperation has fallen off sharply. Washington denies any involvement in the coup.

In April, Chavez ended joint military operations and exchanges with the United States and ordered out U.S. instructors he said were trying to foment unrest against him.

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