US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida: ‘There’s a lot of corruption coming from Venezuela’

first_imgBy Jaime Moreno/Voice of America (VOA) Edited by Diálogo Staff May 13, 2020 Voice of America spoke with Ariana Fajardo, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, who revealed details of the accusations against Nicolás Maduro and Venezuelan Supreme Court Chief Justice Maikel Moreno, and about Venezuela’s corruption money that enters the U.S. banking system.On March 26, Fajardo took part in what she called a “historic” press conference, where she and the U.S. Attorney General pressed charges against Maduro and other high-ranking officials from Venezuela’s illegitimate government for drug and arms trafficking and terrorism.Fajardo said that three U.S. jurisdictions are working on different cases involving Venezuela’s disputed government: the Southern District of Florida, the Southern District of New York, and the District of Columbia.Maduro, she said, was indicted for drug and arms trafficking. “Those charges are associated with his role as the head of the Cartel of the Suns and his agreement with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia],” Fajardo said.“Maduro is accused of being the head of the Cartel of the Suns. So the people under his command are the ones who negotiate with the FARC. Those are the allegations,” the prosecutor added.She said that the charges submitted involve two specific situations, one in 2006 and another in 2013 — when Maduro served as foreign minister — that would prove his relationship with narcotrafficking.“Tons of cocaine that were shipped from Venezuela in 2006 went to Mexico, where Mexican authorities seized them, and Venezuela had to intervene in this situation,” the prosecutor said.“In 2013, Nicolás Maduro was supposed to be here in the United States, at a United Nations meeting […], and he cancelled at the last minute because, just like what had happened in 2006, this time France had seized several tons of drugs from the Cartel of the Suns,” the prosecutor says.The official adds that the accusations also include charges for allowing the FARC to enter and operate in Venezuela.“When we say FARC, we are not referring to the FARC that made peace and the FARC that is part of the Colombian government […],” she said. “We are talking about the remnants that did not want peace, who continued in the mountains.”She adds that they were not only given the space and money to smuggle drugs, but also weapons and protection.Regarding Moreno, the head of the country’s highest court, the attorney says that “on the visa application that he submitted to enter the United States, he declared that he earned $12,000 a year as a judge in Venezuela. When we started investigating the situation here, he had $3 million in deposits in his bank account […], and that’s only one account.”The prosecutor says that, in addition to these cases, in the last 18 months, since she created a special unit within the district attorney’s office, “we have indicted a dozen Venezuelans and frozen $450 million in U.S. banks.”Despite this situation, the attorney says that this “is historic, quite frankly. We’ll see what happens — you never know — but we must have hope that freedom will come for Venezuela someday.”last_img read more

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Other Sports Two US athletes stage protest over President Donald Trump’s policies, face warning

first_imghighlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Lima: Two US athletes who staged podium protests at the recent Pan American Games have been reprimanded but will not face further punishment by United States Olympic chiefs, USA Today reported on Wednesday. Fencer Race Imboden and hammer thrower Gwen Berry both came under fire after protesting the policies of President Donald Trump as they collected medals in Lima. Imboden took a knee during the playing of the US national anthem while Berry raised a clenched fist before later calling out social injustice “and a president who’s making it worse.” The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee later issued a statement expressing “disappointment” at the athlete protests, warning it was reviewing what action to take.USA Today reported on Wednesday that USOPC chief Sarah Hirshland had taken a conciliatory tone in letters sent to Imboden and Berry. However, while Hirshland said she admired each athlete’s decision “to be an active citizen”, she warned that they could face serious sanctions if there was any repeat in the next 12 months — a period covering next year’s 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Notifying the athletes that they faced “a probationary period for the next 12 months,” Hirshland said: “This means you could face more serious sanctions for any additional breach of our code of conduct than might otherwise be levied for an athlete in good standing.” Hirshland said US Olympic officials would work with the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee and athletes to “more clearly define for Team USA athletes what a breach of these rules will mean in the future.”  ‘Fundamental freedom’ Trump has clashed repeatedly with professional athletes who have protested against racial injustice in the United States, accusing NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem of being unpatriotic. Several championship-winning sports teams meanwhile have refused to attend White House receptions since Trump’s election.During the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, Trump clashed with star US forward Megan Rapinoe, who had said she would boycott any White House event. The prospect of US athletes protesting against Trump at next year’s Olympics could potentially lead to sanctions by the IOC, whose charter forbids any “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in Olympic arenas. Hirshland said while she supported the athletes’ right to protest, she disagreed with the timing and venue of their activism. “I applaud your decision to be an active citizen,” Hirshland said. “It is admirable. Regardless of one’s viewpoint, it is a fundamental freedom and important obligation that we each hold to participate actively in the pursuit of a better country and a better world. While I respect your perspective — and that of every athlete for whom I’m lucky enough to serve — I disagree with the moment and manner in which you chose to express your views. The rules we operate under as members of Team USA exist for important reasons. A prohibition on political protest is not intended to silence important voices. In fact, I am genuinely committed to helping identify better avenues for athletes to make their voices heard.”center_img Both athletes could face serious sanctions if there was any repeat in the next 12 months.Race Imboden took a knee during the playing of the US national anthem.Gwen Berry raised a clenched fist before later calling out social injustice.last_img read more

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