The Strategist

US seeks Venezuelan President arrest on drug trafficking


03/27/2020 - 05:39



For the second time in its history, US authorities have charged a serious criminal offense to the incumbent head of a foreign state, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The US authorities accuse Mr. Maduro (who, however, has not been recognized as a legitimate leader for a long time) of "direct participation in the drug trade" and his desire to "flood the United States with cocaine." Washington is ready to pay $ 15 million for information that will help arrest Nicolas Maduro. The defendant faces a prison sentence of up to life.



Presidencia El Salvador
Presidencia El Salvador
Earlier, US authorities (in particular, Vice President Mike Pence) noted that Nicolas Maduro and his associates established a “drug dictatorship” in Venezuela. On Thursday, this rhetoric in Washington was transferred to the legal field. The Department of Justice has announced charges against Nicolas Maduro, as well as another 14 current and former Venezuelan officials, for “drug terrorism, corruption, drug trafficking and other criminal offenses.” A number of defendants, including President Maduro, face up to life imprisonment.

According to the investigation, Nicholas Maduro and his associates have been cooperating with the left-wing radical group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for 20 years and are engaged in drug terrorism together.

Their common goal, according to US Attorney General William Barr, is to "flood the United States with cocaine to undermine the health and well-being of the American nation." The Justice Ministry believes that "the Maduro regime gives permission to FARC drug aircraft to follow in Venezuelan airspace and produce cocaine on its territory." The scheme, according to the United States, was still in place when Nicolas Maduro headed the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.

In addition to Mr. Maduro himself, the accusation mentions a number of high-ranking officials and military, in particular, Head of the Constitutional Assembly Diosdado Cabello, vice-president Tareck El Aissami, former head of military intelligence Hugo Carvajal and retired major general Clíver Antonio Alcalá Cordones. "While in key positions under the Maduro regime, these people have abused public confidence by facilitating the shipment of drugs from Venezuela, including control of aircraft flying from Venezuelan air bases and drug routes through ports in Venezuela," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. Commenting on the topic on Twitter, he added that "the people of Venezuela deserve a transparent, responsible and representative government that serves the needs of the people."

While the arrest of Nicolas Maduro, however, it is difficult to imagine. And the US authorities are now doing everything in their power. “We have arrested (over several years) more than $ 450 million of those who are accused in these cases. And we are just starting,” Ariana Fajardo Orshan, Florida Southern District Attorney, said on Thursday.

source: nytimes.com