The United states indictment of Nicholas Maduro extends to several other members of the Venezuelan government, and the two members of the Colombian rebel group FARC on drugs and weapons charges.
The United States has indicted the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and several high-ranking members of the Venezuelan government with involvement in drug trafficking, weapons, and narco-terrorism charges in the United States on Thursday, according to documents of the US Department of Justice.
In a live video press conference, Attorney General William Barr, flanked by top federal prosecutors in New York and Florida, announced charges against the “former Maduro regime.”
Also charged with Maduro are the Chief Justice of the Venezuela’s Supreme Court, the leader of the country’s Constituent Assembly, and former leaders in the Venezuelan military. Others are two members of the Colombian rebel group FARC were also charged.
“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,” 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 US State Department is offering $15 million for information leading to Nicholas Maduro’s arrest and conviction, as well as lesser rewards of $10 million and $5 million for Maduro’s alleged co-conspirators.
The U.S. has long recognized opposition leader Juan Guiadó, a member of Venezuela’s Constitutional Assembly, as president of the country and has continuously loathe policies by Maduro.
In September, 2019, President Donald Trump banned senior Venezuelan officials and their families from entering the US, an effort allegedly aimed at forcing President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
The declaration signed by Mr Trump targeted Venezuelan officials with the rank of vice minister or above, military members with a rank of colonel or above and members of the pro-Maduro legislature, the Constituent Assembly.
The ban also applied to anyone acting “on behalf of or in support of” Mr Maduro and those enjoying “financial benefit” from the government and their immediate family members.
Maduro cut ties with the US after the US openly backed Guiado during the elections. The dispassion between the US and the Venezuelan leadership deepens with this recent indictment.