As the former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), I was interested and concerned to see a story in Sunday’s Washington Post with the headline “Venezuela Increasingly a Conduit for Cocaine.”

Because smugglers of illicit items are notoriously agnostic about what they are taking across borders illegally, learning of a new or more popular route for drugs provides insight into where smugglers might bring other contraband or even humans for shipment to the United States.

Ambassador Duddy, the new U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, met with President Chavez yesterday, which is a critical step in the right direction to strengthen our ties with Mr. Chavez and his country’s law enforcement entities. Regardless of what is being trafficked, no one wins when smugglers find easier routes to continue their trade.