World, Americas

Cuba slams US for indicting Venezuelan president

US increases sanctions on Venezuela amid COVID-19 pandemic, indicts its leader on alleged narco-trafficking charges

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 27.03.2020
Cuba slams US for indicting Venezuelan president

ANKARA

Cuba slammed the U.S. for indicting Venezuela's elected President Nicolas Maduro on alleged narco-terrorism charges on Thursday.

"I condemn the #US immoral drug-trafficking accusation against president @NicolasMaduro and #Venezuela, which is based on brazen lies," Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Twitter, shortly after the indictment.

He also criticized the timing of the alleged charges, which came in the middle of a global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Even in times of #COVID19, the US government proves to be the main threat to peace and tranquility in #OurAmerica," he added.

The U.S. offered Thursday a $15 million reward for information that leads to the arrest of Maduro after indicting him on allegations of "narco-terrorism."

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Maduro and his high-ranking officials have allegedly "conspired with the FARC, causing tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities" for over 20 years.

He was referring to the Colombian guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

It is rare for the U.S. to issue an indictment against a sitting head of state, but the Trump administration has long-sought Maduro's ouster in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president in January 2019 amid an ongoing power struggle with Maduro.

In addition, the U.S. is also offering $10 million each for three other Maduro associates and up to $5 million for information on FARC leader Marin Arango.

Maduro denounced the decision and accused Washington of seeking to “fill Venezuela with violence.”

“As the head of state I am obliged to defend the peace and stability of the entire homeland, no matter what comes our way,” he said on Twitter.

Bolivia's deposed ex-leader Evo Morales also took to Twitter to condemn the U.S. action against Venezuela.

He accused the U.S. of violating "international law by intimidating the legal and legitimate government in the midst of a pandemic."

The U.S. only wants to "appropriate Venezuela's oil," he added.

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