President Nicolás Maduro
27 March 2020
The DOJ has accused Maduro of using “cocaine as a weapon” to devastate American cities.
Former President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro Moros, Venezuela’s vice president for the economy, Venezuela’s Minister of Defence, and Venezuela’s Chief Supreme Court Justice are among those charged in New York City and Miami, along with current and former Venezuelan government officials as well as two Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) leaders, announced Department of Justice (DOJ). Former President and others charged, caused tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities for more than 20 years. The United States will not allow these corrupt Venezuelan officials to use the U.S. banking system to move their illicit proceeds from South America nor further their criminal schemes, the officials said.
The DOJ is also offering a $15 million reward for information that leads to Maduro’s arrest or conviction.
Charging another head of state with drug trafficking is extraordinary, but not entirely unprecedented. In 1988, Panamanian military dictator Manuel Noriega was indicted on federal drug and money laundering charges. He was ousted from power by a U.S. invasion the following year. He was later convicted and imprisoned in the U.S.
It will not be easy to take him into custody because of Venezuela’s far better-equipped military and Russian support for Maduro.
President Donald Trump has for the last few years tried to oust the Venezuelan leader. Throughout 2018, his administration tightened sanctions on Venezuelan government officials and the country’s state-controlled oil sector. In January 2019, Trump recognized opposition leader, National Assembly President Juan Guaido, as interim president.  The current presidency has been disputed between Juan Guaido and Nicolás Maduro since 10 January, 2019, in the ongoing 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis.
In July 2019, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report detailing the Maduro government’s use of arbitrary arrests, torture, and death squads to maintain power in the economically devastated country.
The US government should also up its domestic war on drugs to combat drug menace. The drug prohibition has created a massive back market and crooked communist governments are capitalising on it. reported.