It has taken seven weeks for the story to reach the UK press, presumably publication was delayed to allow the successful release of hostages [CNN] - negotiations assisted by you know who. The article pretty much lays it all out without much room for doubt unless of course some or all of the sources aren't telling the truth! Somehow it just all rings true.
"The varied testimonies I have heard reveal that the co-operation between Venezuela and the guerrillas in transporting cocaine by land, air and sea is both extensive and systematic. Venezuela is also supplying arms to the guerrillas, offering them the protection of their armed forces in the field, and providing them with legal immunity de facto as they go about their giant illegal business."
Perhaps now that this is getting more column inches in Europe it will shed light on the those that overtly support him, and I don't mean message-board extremists, I mean mayors of major capital cities..."As part of the original deal with Mr Livingstone, which has been in the works for at least a year, the mayor of London’s office had pledged to "actively and efficiently promote Venezuela’s image in the UK".
"All the sources I reached agreed that powerful elements within the Venezuelan state apparatus have forged a strong working relationship with Farc. They told me that Farc and Venezuelan state officials operated actively together on the ground, where military and drug-trafficking activities coincide. But the relationship becomes more passive, they said, less actively involved, the higher up the Venezuelan government you go. No source I spoke to accused Chávez himself of having a direct role in Colombia's giant drug-trafficking business. Yet the same people I interviewed struggled to believe that Chávez was not aware of the collusion between his armed forces and the leadership of Farc, as they also found it difficult to imagine that he has no knowledge of the degree to which Farc is involved in the cocaine trade."