In a live streamed press conference, Attorney General William Barr, flanked by top federal prosecutors in New York and Florida, announced charges against the “former Maduro regime.”
In addition to Maduro, the U.S. charged the chief justice of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, the leader of the country’s Constituent Assembly, and former leaders in the Venezuelan military.
Two members of the Colombian rebel group FARC were also charged.
“For more than 20 years, Maduro and a number of high-ranking colleagues allegedly conspired with the FARC, causing tons of cocaine to enter and devastate American communities,” Barr said. “Today’s announcement is focused on rooting out the extensive corruption within the Venezuelan government — a system constructed and controlled to enrich those at the highest levels of the government.”
The U.S. recognizes opposition leader Juan Guiadó, a member of Venezuela’s Constitutional Assembly, as president of the country. Earlier this month, Guaidó claimed that Maduro’s government tried to assassinate him.
The State Department is offering $15 million for information leading to Maduro’s arrest and conviction, as well as lesser rewards of $10 million and $5 million for Maduro’s alleged co-conspirators.