As law and
order returns to Colombia, things are falling apart in neighboring Venezuela.
So far this year, there have been more kidnappings per capita in Venezuela (12
per million) compared to Colombia (nine per million). Venezuela is being torn
apart by class warfare, as president Hugo Chavez seeks to become
"president for life" and establish a socialist dictatorship.
In Colombia, many are still
willing to fight on for their political beliefs. Leftists want a socialist
dictatorship, while others want a free market economy and political freedom.
Everyone is willing to indulge in corruption, with even the leftists for sale
at the right price.
October 31, 2007: Marines
operating on the Pacific coast, seized two more drug gang submarines (actually
submersibles, as a small "conning tower" is always above the water).
These craft, which can carry up to five tons of cocaine, and have a crew of
three or more, cost a few hundred thousand dollars to build, and are used to
get past radar equipped aircraft and naval patrols. Nine such submersibles have
been caught in Colombia in the last two years. The government has been making a
major effort to cripple cocaine smuggling, and has had a lot of success.
October 29, 2007: National
elections had leftists winning in the capital, but not in most rural areas,
where leftist rebels are still active, and very unpopular. Leftist parties
remain unpopular in most of the country, because of their earlier support of
leftist rebels like FARC and ELN. The leftists also pioneered the widespread
use of kidnapping to raise money. At one point, Colombia was the kidnapping
capital of the world (with 75 kidnappings per year per million population).