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Venezuela Invests in Chinese Mass Surveillance Companies

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Venezuela strongman Nicolás Maduro announced on Thursday that his government would invest into Chinese telecom powerhouses Huawei and ZTE to bring a 4G wireless network into the country.

The country has rampant food shortages, hyperinflation, and failing infrastructures thanks to its decades of socialist policies and is looking for whatever way to get by.

Now, it’s looking to turn to one of its biggest geopolitical allies in China for help.

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This announcement by Maduro looks like a response to the United States’ warning to other countries to not do business with Huawei.  The Trump administration also issued an executive order that bans U.S. businesses from working with foreign corporations that undermine U.S. national security, a move that is supposedly directed towards Huawei. According to American security experts, Huawei has used its technology for in tandem with the Chinese government to spy on the American military and steal trade secrets.

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New reports indicate that ZTE helped Maduro’s regime build a surveillance network that mirrors China’s “social credit system”, which punishes regime opponents by preventing them from travelling domestically or abroad.

Maduro declared on state television that “I have ordered immediate investment together with our Chinese brothers and China’s technology, the technology of Huawei, of ZTE, of all the Chinese corporations and all the Russian corporations so that we can elevate the capabilities of all the communications systems and make the 4G system a reality.”

Maduro criticized U.S. “aggression” towards Huawei. The Venezuelan leader views it as another front in the “economic war” being waged against his regime and other rogue states across the world through the use of sanctions.

Venezuela’s crisis has gone geopolitical, given its support from countries like China and Russia. As the U.S. maintains its hawkish stance on the South American country, Venezuela will likely drift into the Chinese and Russian geopolitical orbit.

 

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U.S. Law Enforcement Bust 27 People Connected to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

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Over two dozen people were arrested on drug charges in connection to a Mexican cartel smuggling cocaine into the U.S. Following a two-year investigation, 27 people were arrested through Operation Tripwire, an investigation effort U.S. officials have been working on featuring members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The trafficking network went from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cocaine originating from Mexico was smuggled stateside. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady declared “this is a large organization that was trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the country and has direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.”

U.S. authorities recounted that the investigations started after an agent in Pittsburgh was able to identify an address that received large quantities of suspicious-looking packages coming from California. Since then, agents started to do investigation on other members of the network across the U.S.

Across the span of seven months, authorities were able to intercept U.S. calls made by some of the alleged traffickers with Sinaloa carte leaders in Mexico. On September 9, 2020, 27 were arrested in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.

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According to American authorities, $1.3 million in cash and over 140 kilograms of cocaine were seized. The aforementioned people arrested are now facing a prison sentence of between 10 years and life in prison.

The border situation is no joke. Prior administrations have largely neglected the issue and have allowed for unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking to cross the U.S. border.

In a prior instance, BLP reported on how Mexico is a failed state that cannot maintain public order and is largely being pushed around by cartels. Due to its proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s problems will likely spillover stateside.

This is why border security is crucial. Thankfully, the U.S. has a president in Donald Trump that gets the memo. He’ll still need help from Congress, however,

That’s why it’s crucial that America First Republicans have strong showings at all branches of government in 2020.

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