January 7th, 2012
05:19 PM ET

Venezuela taps general designated as drug kingpin by the U.S. for top defense job

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tapped a leading general accused by the United States of being a drug "kingpin" to be the country's new defense minister.

Gen. Henry Rangel Silva will replace Carlos Mata Figueroa, according to the state-run AVN news agency. Chavez, who called Rangel a "good soldier," made the announcement Friday in the central city of Guanare, the agency reported.

The United States added Rangel to its kingpin list in 2008 for allegedly providing support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the FARC.

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soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Lwg

    Lets try this again, mr chavezhas been tight with columbian king pins for many years, does not the us also deal in drugs? Why dont we go straight to the juggler and stop this madness, are we not in deep enough giving money to hugo because of his cooperation with the us? And he still gives refuge to left wing drug terrorists in south central america!

    January 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Whomever

    @Jazzy. I was referring to the overwhelming evidence that the FBI must have on this KNOWN drug "kingpin", not CNN's reporting style.

    January 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Whomever

    @Lwg...not to mention, if Venezuela's government is so corrupt, why does our federal government allow Venezuela's bationalized oil corporation to sell gasoline in the USA? CITGO is Venezuela's national oil company. If they are so crooked, why allow them to do business in the US?

    January 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Lwg

    @whomever, thats because weve pumped so much money into that part of the world to not only help in humanatarian purposes but to purchase drugs that would of otherwise made it to our streets or homes, so why not ask for payment in some of the cheapest and low quality crude on the planet. So we will keep hugo chavez in power to keep the calm on our own illegal activities our illegal activities are always about money control and greed so it pretty much sums up the truth about our own government and who they want office and who we can play

    January 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Whomever

    @Lwg...goto Youtube.com and search "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". There are a few vids by the books author, a former NSA agent who used to bribe South American politicians for the US gov. I guarantee that you will view these things differently after you hear him out..

    January 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Lwg

    @ whomever:........ Ive lived in south central america are for three years its no secret down there who is involved in most of the drug trafficking here in the us but i grant you this a (assuned) propagnda film will not change the truth of what i know!!!! Its horrific that our country would support such activities in that area, its easier to deal with than to start a war in the us as promised(the drug war) of reagan now this is the aftermath of that decision. Thgis is something that our government as a whole has to deal with for many years to come. People will use drugs no matter were they come from. But to ruin lifes, and take out generations of people in the name of cocain than our country has a major problem on there hands. From the things that ive witnessed in this part of the world and the loss of lifes its just not worth it! It does really start in the home to educate and teach our kids not to do certain things it worked for me it can work for anybody as long as parents heads are in the right place thank you for responding to my blog i appreciate it!!!!

    January 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Philip

    @Lws...Imagine the crack-cocaine supply to America's inner cities being totally cut-off overnight and you can see the wisdom in our government allowing drugs to enter our country. LA would burn if their crack supply were all-of-a-sudden cut off. It's much the same with prescription pharmaceutical abuse. America is being weaned off of drugs. Not only are the CIA importing fewer and fewer drugs each year (our nations largest drug-bust IN HISTORY involved the DEA busting the CIA IMPORTING COCAINE) but State after State are making Marijuamma legal for medicinal purposes. MJ is a great way to wean yourself from more harmful pharmaceuticals. Like a nicotine patch for crackheads. America will be virtually drug-free in the bear future. Why? How else is good news ever going to reach it's audience if that audience is under the influence of mind-alrering pharmaceuticals? Bye bey Big-Pharma and your dope pushers. America is waking up!

    January 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Whomever

    @Lws. You are assuming that the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" is total BS. Let me assure you, that from the days of fmr. President Theodroe Rossevelt, the ways America goes about getting her way have been left unchanged. (other than Geo. Bush's pereemptive war strategies) Roosevelt's grandson was the very first "Economic Hitman". He went into Iran with 3 million dollars in cash, and was able to bribe enough pieple into supporting the pro-west "Shah of Iran", that the former leadership (a pro-Koran government that would never side with infidels) was ousted. So successful and cheap was this process compared to militarily invading and occupying a foreign nations, it's used down to this very day. Youtube "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" It's the real McCoy.

    January 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Lwg

    @phillip:................good blog guy nice its about time someone with a brain can talk some sense , but the only problem that still exists is the taking of innocent lifes in these countrys so the cost is still high but for some its free. Its still not enough . I mentioned that i lived in that area. I cannot say exactly where but i was there why would we bribe them to send there drugs on military transports US transports to the us so its still no justification for taking innocent lifes so we are back to #1 ive had friends from cia and fbi try to talk it into me about this and that but if your not at ground zero and see the americans dealing with rebels and exchanging large amounts of tax payers money than nobody and i mean nobody can convince me other wise, for me it was an obligation to do things and for others it was a game same as our own country is ran . When i came back to the states i felt ashamed to be american. Why would the farc have american made assault rifles when they should of had russian arms? So you see its to long of a bs session . Its so involved that it will drive you crazy so in other words what happens behind the scenes is what i had to see but what is on some kind of movie is in front of the scenes so all you see is a ghost that does not exist which no one can understand,thank you for your time

    January 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. David A. Brookbank, Jr.

    LWG, Poster "Whomever" is not talking about your three years in Latin America. He is talking about a high level US operative who has written an expose on his official role blackmailing, coercing, threatening and facilitating coups, assassinations, etc in Latin America. We already have extensive history on US narcos like our man Noriega as well as corrupt US backed dictators like Somoza, to name just a few. One of the greatest "strengths" of the modern Roman Empire – i.e., the United States – is its ability to use its intelligence aparatus with its links to media and business to cook any and every story. A country on the US hit list will never satisfy the pundits and bloggers much less the bureaucrats, CIA analysts, and mainstream media reporters. Venezuela is on that list. Thus, despite repeated extraditions of drug kingpins to the US and Colombia, international recognition of its considerable anti-drug efforts, and the massive amounts of drugs interdicted, Venezuela and US whipping boy, Chavez, remain short of US expectation. Obviously the US still considers itself the judge and jury of good, justice, etc in this world. Chavez – like many a nationalist, anti-imperialist before him – has committed the one unforgivable sin in the eyes of an empire, be that empire the Roman, Soviet or US versions, i.,e., Chavez has stuck a big middle finger in the face of the bloody US empire and seen people all around the world count him as another hero of the people as he and his people demonstrate national pride and sovereignty, not to mention regional leadership that in fact does threaten the US. Thus, regardless of whether or not Chavez were to bring down all the cartels of Latin America and deal with all the money-laundering US banks (google Salinas de Gotari – Citibank), he would never satisfy the demands of those bent on ultimately destroying him and the programs he and his government have undertaken. The US would simply find some other impardonable sin to accuse him of.

    January 8, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. David A. Brookbank, Jr.

    This article following article provides information consistent with Venezuelan anti-drug efforts over the last several years. It is information routinely ignored by the US media, US bloggers, and the US government (though the US Embassy acknowledges these efforts in this case). Note the numbers of drug dealers extradited to the US and Colombia. Take note also of the fact that two of those extradited are members of the FARC, suggesting that CNN's 90 word blurb and 250 word "full story" might, in fact, be lacking some facts and context. http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/world/12005417137192/venezuela-deports-6-suspected-drug-traffickers/

    January 8, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
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