- Created: Friday, 09 February 2018 16:54
- Written by Trevor Rayne
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 92, January 1990
'Cocaine capitalism' examines the cocaine trade in two parts. In part one TREVOR RAYNE examines the economic conditions that have generated the most profitable industry in Latin America. Part two looks at its political consequences, links with counter-revolution and impacts on US cities and the banks.
President Bush redeclared ‘War on Drugs’. The British government dispatched a frigate and 50 military and police officers to Colombia. Police are raiding downtown Los Angeles and Tottenham. It is captivating headline stuff – for a fortnight. Three months after Bush signalled his intent to crush the drug trade, his ‘drug czar’ William Bennett is denying rumours that he is threatening to resign because of the lack of progress made.
The world’s illegal drug trade is valued at $500bn. Cocaine is the world’s most profitable item of trade. Its worth, at wholesale prices, varies between five and seven times its weight in gold. Annual cocaine production generates approximately twice the revenue of the world’s output of gold. Colombia alone produces sufficient for five billion dosages a year which would retail at between $20bn and $100bn, depending on the degree of purity and markets used. Los Angeles’ Federal Reserve Bank reported a $3.8bn cash surplus earlier this year as money laundering diversifies out of Florida. The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee issued a report describing Britain as an ‘off-shore banking centre’ for drug traffickers, who are circulating an estimated £1.8bn through the British financial system.