Congressional Desk - (WASHINGTON) - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on an upcoming GAO Report that reportedly blames widespread corruption in the Chavez government for increases in cocaine transshipments through Venezuela. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: "No one should be surprised by reports that the Chavez government has become ´a lifeline´ for narcotraffickers and rebel groups."Hugo Chavez has done all he can to lay out the welcome mat for criminals and extremists. "The most recent International Narcotics Control Strategy Report issued by the Department of State notes the ´permissive and corrupt environment´ in Venezuela which has helped fuel increases in drug-related activity. "Further, Chavez, in the last few years, has refused to allow new DEA agents into the country to address the growing traffic of illegal drugs through Venezuela into the U.S."The U.S. and other responsible nations must not stand idly by as Chavez´s behavior and policies threaten important U.S. and regional security interests."Each year since 2005, the President has determined that Venezuela has failed demonstrably to adhere to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements. The next determination will be made in September 2009.