According to CNN, federal prosecutors with the Department of Justice are expected to announce criminal charges against Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and other high-ranking Venezuelan officials.
It is unclear what crimes the U.S. will accuse Maduro and the members of his regime of committing, but sources told CNN they are related to Venezuela’s involvement in drug trafficking.
‘Significant law enforcement actions’
The Southern District of New York announced on Twitter it will be holding a news conference at 11 a.m. to announce “significant law enforcement actions related to Venezuelan government officials” where the charges against Maduro and others are expected to be announced.
State sponsors of terrorism
The U.S. State Department is also expected to designate Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism. Countries currently on the list include Iran, Sudan, Syria, and North Korea. The U.S. defines a “state-sponsor of terrorism” as a country “determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”
CNN reported the decision to include Venezuela among the list of countries that sponsor terrorism comes after years of massive protests and well-documented human rights abuses by the socialist regime in Caracas:
The official designation will come several months after a period of historic tumult in Venezuela that saw Maduro’s leadership challenged following an election condemned by international authorities and massive street protests. The US and a host of other countries and international bodies have instead recognized the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s leader, and the Trump administration has waged a campaign of aggressive economic punishment that aimed to force Maduro out of power.
This is a developing story that we will be updated as new details emerge.