The Venezuelan government has announced that it has dismantled a network that was involved in laundering drugs money, and that several prominent members of the political opposition are implicated. According to the Minister of Justice Tareck El Aissami the group handled approximately $10 million and set up a number of front organisations to hide their activities. He said that investigators have suspicions that Enrique Salas, the governor of Carabobo, and Morel Rodríguez, the governor of Nueva Esparta, were involved in the network
Although it is difficult to know whether or not the accusations have any grounding, they come at a point when domestic criticism of the Chávez government is increasing. Recently Chávez has spent more time in Havana than in Caracas due to the treatment he is receiving for cancer. Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate for president, has criticised him for ruling the country through his twitter account. Accusations of government involvement in drugs trafficking and manipulation of the judicial system made by former judge Eladio Aponte last week also called into question the honesty of the Chávez administration. The whole thing smells suspiciously like an attempt to discredit the opposition before the upcoming presidential elections in October.