Dhe United States accuses Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro and several confidants of drug trafficking and money laundering. The Venezuelan government is working with dissidents from the former Colombian rebel organization Farc to smuggle cocaine into the United States through Central America, said Justice Secretary William Barr on Thursday. The US State Department also awarded a $ 15 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Maduro.
The United States government is one of Maduro’s fiercest opponents. She recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as a legitimate interim president in early 2019 and has been calling for a change of power in Caracas since then. So far, Guaidó has not been able to establish itself in Venezuela. When he declared himself transition president in January last year, he mobilized the masses. However, the inflow has decreased in recent months. Maduro remains firmly in the saddle despite America’s increased sanctions.
Law enforcement agencies in the United States have been investigating Maduro for at least ten years, Barr said. Maduro and other defendants have been charged with leading a drug dealer ring called “Kartell der Sonnen” since at least 1999. The name is said to refer to sun symbols on the uniforms of high-ranking Venezuelan military personnel. Prosecutor Geoffrey Berman said Maduro wanted to “flood” the United States with cocaine to harm the health and wellbeing of the United States. “Maduro deliberately used cocaine as a weapon.”
The United States Secretary of Justice also placed $ 10 million in bounties on the constituent assembly chairman, Diosdado Cabello, former military intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal, and industry secretary Tareck El Aissami. In addition to Maduro, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, the country’s Supreme Judge, Maikel Moreno, army officials and two Farc leaders are also accused. The US Treasury Department has already imposed a number of sanctions on Maduro and those around him.
Venezuela is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Numerous military and politicians are said to be involved in criminal activities such as illegal mining and drug trafficking.