March 26, 2020 / 3:43 PM / 10 days ago

U.S. charges Venezuelan President Maduro, other officials in narco-terrorism scheme

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday charged Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, along with the country’s defense minister and chief Supreme Court Justice and others for their roles in a drug trafficking scheme to “flood” the United State with cocaine.

Maduro and his top lieutenants ran a “narco-terrorism partnership with the FARC for the past 20 years,” said Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, referring to a dissident faction of the leftist Colombian guerrilla group.

“The scope and magnitude of the drug trafficking alleged was made possible only because Maduro and others corrupted the institutions of Venezuela and provided political and military protection for the rampant narco-terrorism crimes described in our charges,” he added. (Reporting by Timothy Ahmann Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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