US official says Venezuela is changing attitude on drug trafficking, making a 'serious' effort

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Even as the U.S. and Venezuela publicly feud about the role the South American country plays in fighting drug smuggling, there are signs the two nations may not be as far apart on the issue as it seems.

The U.S. State Department's top anti-narcotics official said Wednesday that Venezuela has recently changed its attitude toward drug trafficking.

William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, says Venezuela's socialist administration has been making serious anti-trafficking efforts for more than a year.

His comments come as the countries are sparring over the topic in dueling statements. On Monday, the White House said Venezuela and Bolivia failed in anti-drug efforts in the last year. On Wednesday, Venezuela responded with a statement protesting attempts to meddle in its affairs.