Russia: U.S. operation against drug trafficking from Venezuela will have negative consequences

The decision of the United States to launch a military operation to cut off drug supplies in Latin America poses a threat of negative consequences, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, as cited by RIA Novosti.

"Washington's decision to launch a military operation to cut off drug supplies in Latin America, which is accompanied by increased military activity around Venezuela, will lead to extremely unpredictable and negative consequences, taking into account the current circumstances," she explained.

She added that Russia had "repeatedly" warned against it.

In early April Washington announced the deployment of Navy ships near Venezuela as part of the fight against drug trafficking.

According to the US State Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, "corrupt individuals" from Maduro's government "rely on profits derived from the sale of drugs to maintain their repressive power."

The U.S. Justice Department accused Maduro himself and 14 other top officials of drug trafficking, and the State Department announced a $15 million reward for Maduro's head.

Attorney General William Barr pointed out that the U.S. does not consider Maduro to be a legitimate President of Venezuela and compared him to former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, who was overthrown by the Americans in 1989 in a military invasion following similar drug charges.

Maduro called the threats of the United States actions of the Wild West and said that the military and the people would stand for him in case of American aggression. Maduro also rejected U.S. government’s accusations of drug trafficking, stressing that Venezuela has been the leader in fight against drug trafficking for 15 years.

In 2016, the Russian Foreign Ministry was at the center of a scandal over an attempt to smuggle 400 kilograms of cocaine using diplomatic mail from the embassy in Argentina.

The investigation was completed in October last year. The accused were Ali Abyanov, the head of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires, businessman Andrey Kovalchuk (claiming to be a former employee of the embassy in Germany), as well as a former employee of the Central Committee of Komsomol, the Russian All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, Vladimir Kalmykov and entrepreneur Ishtimir Khudzhamov.

  Russia, Venezuela, Maduro

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