The United States has officially charged Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro with Narco-Terrorism, Corruption, and Drug Trafficking offenses, as confirmed by US Attorney General William Barr. Alongside Maduro, the charges extend to the head of Venezuela’s constituent assembly, the former director of military intelligence, a “former high ranking general,” and more to be announced shortly. Any information leading to Maduro’s arrest will be compensated with a reward of $15 million.
🚨 AG Bill Barr just announced that the DOJ has charged Maduro/his regime in Venezuela with narco-terrorism and has put out a $15 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
Barr adds: “We do not recognize Maduro as the President of Venezuela.” pic.twitter.com/PjGribCh2N
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 26, 2020
A statement from the Department of Justice reads Barr’s statement as follows: “For more than 20 years, Maduro and a number of high-ranking colleagues allegedly conspired with the FARC, causing tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities. 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.”
Accusing Maduro of being a member of the Cártel de Los Soles since 1999, the charges allege that he has been using his position to facilitate the spread of cocaine in the United States. “The Cártel de Los Soles sought to not only enrich its members and enhance their power, but also to “flood” the United States with cocaine and inflict the drug’s harmful and addictive effects on users in the United States,” reads the official DOJ statement. It claims that Maduro’s alliance with the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), a “revolutionary” group involved with drug-trafficking, forms the basis of the drug-charges.
It should be noted that tensions between President Donald Trump and Maduro have been volatile of late, with the former calling the latter “an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people,” and vowing that “his grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken.”