Venezuelan and French authorities have seized 3.6 metric tons of cocaine aboard a vessel in the Caribbean Sea.

Venezuelan Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami says seven suspects were arrested during the anti-drug operation off Venezuela's coast.

Venezuela is a major hub for gangs that smuggle Colombian cocaine to the United States and Europe.

El Aissami said Wednesday that Venezuela is cooperating with foreign governments to fight drug smuggling. He called Tuesday's bust "a tough blow" to traffickers.

U.S. officials have accused President Hugo Chavez's government of lax anti-drug efforts.

Chavez counters that his government is doing everything possible to stem the flow of drugs through Venezuela.