Foreign Policy

U.S. Indicts Venezuelan Strongman Maduro

It ratchets up pressure on the illegitimate thug and signals support for the people.

Nate Jackson · Mar. 30, 2020

We’ve written a good deal over the years about Venezuela, the oil-rich country that was once the wealthiest in South America and is now a third-world hell-scape. Stories include Nicolas Maduro running the economy into the ground to the point of starving the nation’s citizens, as well as declaring victory in a fraudulent “election” and then refusing to leave despite more than 100 nations, the U.S. included, recognizing Juan Guaido as the rightful president. In almost every case, the real story is that Venezuela is a pretty good barometer of the efficacy of tyrannical socialist policies.

Thus it’s significant that the U.S. has gone beyond recognizing Maduro’s rival. The Justice Department last week issued a criminal indictment and arrest warrant for the Venezuelan strongman, accusing him and 14 co-conspirators of drug trafficking, narco-terrorism, money laundering, and bribery. “Maduro and the other defendants expressly intended to flood the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the health and wellbeing of our nation,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “Maduro very deliberately deployed cocaine as a weapon.”

The DOJ also offered $15 million for Maduro’s capture. That’s quite a bit of motivation for any number of his enemies, and the indictment itself sends a loud message of support to the oppressed people of Venezuela.

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