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Security & Strategic Review - October 2020

VENEZUELA: War on drugs takes on a political edge

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó reported on 3 September that he was close to reaching a “historic agreement” with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to tackle “drug trafficking and terrorism” in Venezuela. The US ‘war on drugs’ has in recent months become a key pillar of the domestic and international political opposition to Nicolás Maduro’s government, but the increasing level of security co-operation between the US and Guaidó – recognised by the US as Venezuela’s interim president – has seen Maduro allege repeatedly that these counter-drug operations represent a security threat to Venezuela, laying the groundwork for foreign intervention.

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