"One of the disturbing and little noticed events of recent weeks was the crash (or destruction) of a Boeing 727 in the desert of Mali.
The crash is disturbing for many reasons, among them these three: 1) the aircraft was carrying between 2 to 3 tons of cocaine, far more than other, smaller aircraft and boats that have been detected in recent months, indicating an escalation of the trade through the Trans-Sahel region; 2) The region where the aircraft was found, most likely torched by its crew to destroy evidence, in a area of heavy operation of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM); and 3) the aircraft departed from Venezuela, now Latin America's primary transshipment hub from Latin America to West Africa, and source of all the major air shipments of cocaine that have been interdicted in West Africa."
Unsurprising. Given the number of Cuban DGI agents in Venezuela, this is that state's future, whether Chavez eats a bullet tomorrow or not. Note, also, the incidental al-Qaeda opportunity to pick up the high value part of the pipeline moving the shipped drugs north to Europe.