The United States announced Thursday evening that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and others close to him, have been charged with “narcoterrorism”.
“We want him to be captured so that he can answer for his actions in a US court,” said Justice Minister Bill Barr at a news conference held by video conference over the new coronavirus. Asked about the advisability of such an announcement, when Venezuelans, like a third of the planet, are called to stay at home because of the pandemic, the minister replied: “We must do everything we can to rid the country of this corrupt clique. ” Washington is offering a bonus of up to $ 15 million for any information that would arrest the disputed president.
Maduro: “You’re miserable, Donald Trump! “
Venezuela has been in turmoil since February 2014, after the first demonstrations against the President of the Republic were repressed in blood. Since then, the lack of food, the shortage of medicines, inflamed by dizzying inflation, have got the better of the population who fled en masse or demonstrated. In May 2018, Maduro was re-elected despite the boycott of the opposition parties. Since its legitimacy is disputed. The President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido has proclaimed himself interim president. Nearly sixty states have recognized it, including France and the United States, but Maduro accuses the latter of plotting his fall, isolating the country, cutting off electricity and food.
Washington is trying to suffocate the government of Nicolás Maduro with a series of economic sanctions. Donald Trump’s stated objective is to contribute to the ouster of the socialist, who retains the support of China, Russia and Cuba.
This indictment is yet another step in the Cold War between the two countries. “The government of Donald Trump, in outrageously extreme, vulgar and miserable action, has launched a series of false false accusations. I say it like this: you’re miserable, Donald Trump! He does not only behave like a cowboy, racist and supremacist, he manages international relations like an extortionist “, reacted the Venezuelan leader on national television.
Accused of associating with the FARC
Besides the socialist president, the number two of the presidential party (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, and several high ranking officers are suspected by Washington of having formed around 1999 “the cartel of los Soles” (the cartel of the suns) with reference to the badges placed on the uniforms of officers in Venezuela. They are accused of associating “with an extremely violent terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in an effort to flood the United States with cocaine,” said Barr. According to him, dissidents of the FARC continue the drug trafficking despite the peace agreements in Colombia, and do so with “the support of the Maduro regime which authorizes them to use Venezuela as a rear base”.
Two FARC leaders are the subject of the indictment adopted by a New York court.
According to the indictment, Maduro enriched himself in the process, accepting, notably in 2006, $ 5 million from the FARC after helping them launder money.
Prosecutions have also been initiated in Miami against the head of the Supreme Court of Venezuela, Maikel Moreno Perez, accused of “money laundering”, and in Washington against Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez for drug trafficking.
It is not the first time that such accusations have been made. Almost a year ago, Hugo Carvajal, a key figure in the Chavez and Maduro governments, was arrested in Spain and then claimed by the DEA, the American service responsible for combating drug trafficking. In November 2015, two men, who identified themselves as the stepson of the First Lady of Venezuela, Cilia Flores, the other as her nephew, were arrested in Haiti after contacting an intermediary to do so. enter 800 kg of cocaine into the United States via Honduras. The intermediary was a DEA informant.