US Charges Nicolás Maduro Of Venezuela With Drug Trafficking

Trump administration to designate Venezuela as state sponsor of terrorism and charge President Maduro, sources say

BREAKING: US prosecutors to criminally charge Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro

The announcement came after the Justice Department unsealed indictments against the Venezuelan president and his officials, filed by prosecutors in Miami and NY.

The U.S.is also offering a $15 million reward for information leading to Maduro's arrest or conviction, while the State Department is offering $10 million for some of his associates, who include former Vice President Diosdado Cabello. Together, the officials are accused of "facilitating shipments of narcotics from Venezuela" by air and sea.

The Southern District of NY announced on Twitter it will be holding a news conference at 11 a.m.to announce "significant law enforcement actions related to Venezuelan government officials" where the charges against Maduro and others are expected to be announced. "While the Venezuelan people suffer, this cabal lines their pockets with drug money and the proceeds of corruption".

The indictment of a functioning head of state is highly unusual and is bound to ratchet up tensions between Washington and Caracas.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said the scheme between the Colombians and Venezuelans had been operating for some two decades and represented a deliberate strategy by Maduro's regime to "flood the United States with cocaine".

Prosecutors from the US Department of Justice are also expected to unseal criminal charges against Maduro and senior leaders from his government, the sources said.

The United States and dozens of other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president. As with Maduro, Washington did not recognize Noriega as Panama's legitimate leader at the time. When asked on Thursday whether military action could be used to capture Maduro, Barr did not comment.

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