U.S. Justice Department Targeting Venezuela’s First Lady For Drug Trafficking

Cilia Flores, a longtime legislator, is better known for her influence than for grassroots politics. Alleged crimes, according to people familiar with a U.S. probe, have helped her keep Nicolás Maduro in power. REUTERS/Christian Veron

Reuters: U.S. takes aim at the power behind Venezuela’s Maduro: his first lady

First lady Cilia Flores has a long record as a power broker in Venezuela. Now, with the help of a jailed former bodyguard, U.S. prosecutors are preparing to charge her with crimes that could include drug trafficking and corruption.

CARACAS/WASHINGTON – Four years ago, a bit player in the Venezuelan leadership was arrested in Colombia and extradited to the United States to face drug charges. He proved to be an important catch.

The man, Yazenky Lamas, worked as a bodyguard for the person widely considered the power behind President Nicolás Maduro’s throne: first lady Cilia Flores.

Now, with help from Lamas’ testimony, the United States is preparing to charge Flores in coming months with crimes that could include drug trafficking and corruption, four people familiar with the investigation of the first lady told Reuters. If Washington goes ahead with an indictment, these people said, the charges are likely to stem, at least in part, from a thwarted cocaine transaction that has already landed two of Flores’ nephews in a Florida penitentiary.


WNU Editor: Charging Venezuela’s First Lady with drug trafficking is one thing. Trying to get her is something else.

Author: Anchorman

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