- Created: Friday, 09 February 2018 17:01
- Written by Trevor Rayne
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 95, June/July 1990
BEHIND ‘THE WAR ON DRUGS’
‘It is a sad commentary on the state of mankind at the end of the twentieth century that the bulk of our vast productive energies is devoted to our own destruction’. So lamented UN Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar during April’s World Ministerial Summit on Drugs in London. Illegal narcotics now exceed oil and automobiles and are second only to weapons as the world’s most valuable trade. Each year they pump an additional $300 billion through the capitalist banking system. Drugs house soldiers in palaces, furnish police and customs officials with luxury, buy guns and missiles for Afghan and Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries, prop up entire Latin American economies and fend off a multi-national banking collapse triggered by the unpayable trillion-dollar Third World debt. TREVOR RAYNE continues his examination of the drugs trade.
Like all capitalist wealth, drug profits are wrung out of the misery and squalor of the oppressed: the 130 million Latin Americans in hunger and poverty who provide the child assassins for the drug barons’ armies; the peasant coca farmers who receive 0.5 per cent of cocaine’s final retail price; the 45 per cent of black and 39 per cent of Hispanic children born in the USA who exist below the poverty line; the street corner lookouts earning $35 for a twelve hour shift with an expectancy of three to six months ‘work’ before arrest and imprisonment. 23 per cent of US black men aged 20-29 are in gaol, on parole or probation. For every two young black US males who gain entry into higher education, three are held in some form of custody. This is cocaine capitalism, the face behind the dazzle from the designer sunglasses of Miami Vice.