U.S. indicts Maduro on charges of narco terrorism, $15 million for his arrestChristian Fernsby ▼ | March 26, 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday, charging him with narco terrorism and putting a $15 million bounty on his arrest.
President Nicolas Maduro
Topics: U.S. Maduro
In the announcement, Justice Department officials called Mr Maudro “a leader of a cartel” and accused him of alleged conspiracy to send cocaine to the United States by running a drug trafficking network and engaging in money laundering.
US attorney general William Barr said “today’s announcement is focused on rooting out the extensive corruption within the Venezuelan government – a system constructed and controlled to enrich those at the highest levels of the government. The United States will not allow these corrupt Venezuelan officials to use the U.S. banking system to move their illicit proceeds from South America, nor further their criminal schemes.”
The US also accused Venezuela of allowing Colombians with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, "FARC," to use its airspace to fly cocaine into the United States.
According to the Washington Post, Mr Maduro rejected the indictment calling it a conspiracy from the U.S. and Colombia. “There’s a conspiracy from the United States and Colombia and they’ve given the order of filling Venezuela with violence.”
“As head of state I’m obliged to defend peace and stability for all the motherland, under any circumstances,” he reportedly tweeted.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move is “to bring former Maduro regime officials responsible for international narcotics trafficking to justice.”
The State Department is also offering rewards of $10 million for information related to others indicted alongside Mr Maduro from his inner circle, including Diosdado Cabello Rondon, Hugo Carvajal Barrios, Cliver Alcala Cordones, and Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah.
It accused them of facilitating shipments of narcotics from Venezuela, including control over planes that leave from a Venezuelan air base, as well as control of drug routes through the ports in Venezuela. ■