The Venezuelan Armed Forces ratified this Friday their “absolute loyalty” to President Nicolás Maduro and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, hours after the United States accused them, along with more than a dozen Venezuelan officials, of alleged drug trafficking, laundering of money and terrorism.
Through a statement read by the Strategic Operational Commander, Admiral-in-Chief Remigio Ceballos, accompanied by the commanders of the five components of the Armed Forces, the military made clear their “unwavering commitment” to Maduro and Godfather, as well as to others. “important leaders of the Venezuelan state”.
“The Bolivarian National Armed Force categorically rejects the extravagant and extreme accusations made by the United States Department of Justice” against Maduro and a dozen of his collaborators, Ceballos continued when reading the statement.
CHARGES AGAINST MATURE AND OTHERS 14
The United States Government announced the eve of charges against Maduro, and 14 other figures from Chavismo, as well as against two dissidents of the former FARC guerilla, for drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.
Prosecutors in Florida and New York, where the charges were filed, claimed that for the past 20 years, since the late President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999, the Venezuelan Executive has participated in a “violent and corrupt conspiracy” with the FARC to traffic cocaine.
Supposedly, in Venezuela, the plot is led by the “Cartel de los Soles”, whose name refers to the insignia worn by high-ranking Venezuelan military uniforms.
US prosecutors claim that the “leader” of that alleged cartel is Maduro, who “personally” negotiated with the FARC to give them weapons and entered into talks with other countries, such as Honduras, to facilitate the passage of cocaine through its territory, according to the indictments.
ACCUSATION OF “VULGAR”
The Venezuelan president himself said yesterday that the accusation was “vulgar” and an “act of insanity” from which US President Donald Trump will be “damaged”.
His government, meanwhile, dismissed the accusations as “miserable, vulgar and unfounded,” while stressing that Venezuela enjoys “high recognition” in the fight against drug trafficking.
In this sense, the Venezuelan Armed Forces said that the accusations against Venezuelan officials are “totally devoid of any type of evidence” and “seek to tarnish the morale of a handful of patriots who have dedicated their lives to the service of the nation” by fighting drug trafficking.
“It can be seen at a glance the treacherous intention to discredit Venezuelan institutions,” the statement insists.
For his part, and in a personal capacity, Ceballos described the accusations against Venezuelan officials as “extreme attacks by the supremacist and racist government of the United States,” and stressed that the Venezuelan military “is not afraid of anything or anyone.”