Quico says: In the wake of his extraordinary meeting with a notorious Colombian drug-runner and paramilitary chieftain earlier this week, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has stepped up cooperation with the criminal syndicate he leads.
Caracas Chronicles can exclusively report that the Venezuelan leader is now personally advising the Bogotá Don on personnel management and tactics.
Referring to his new criminal co-conspirator as "my friend" for the first time, Chávez advised him to rein in or replace his chief military lieutenant, who hours earlier had breached protocol in celebrating the two men's meeting. The Colombian leader quickly accepted Chávez's advice.
"It certainly represents a step-change in the intensity of collaboration," Caracas Chronicles sources said. "For the first time we see Chávez going beyond broad rhetorical flourishes and involving himself directly in the day-to-day running of this sprawling criminal enterprise across his western border."
"'This goes well beyond the realm of 'personal affinity' between these two men," our source added. "Chávez is now micromanaging the affairs of the most blood-thirsty institution in the most violent country in the continent."