The US is offering a reward of $5m (£3.9m) for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Venezuela, Maikel Moreno. The US accuses Mr Moreno of participating in transnational organised crime. Mr Moreno rejects the allegations. He is the latest of many senior officials in the administration of President Nicolás Maduro for whom a multi-million dollar reward is being offered. The bounties have been shrugged off by the Venezuelans as absurd and unfortunate, but ultimately of no importance.
Maikel Moreno, a 54-year-old veteran of Venezuela’s judicial system, has been Chief Justice of Venezuela’s Supreme Court since February 2017.
The US State Department alleges that Mr Moreno has received bribes in exchange for telling judges to release defendants or in return for dismissing cases altogether.
Earlier this year, he was charged with money laundering by a court in Florida.
On Tuesday, the US Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program offered $5m for information leading to his arrest or conviction for allegedly “participating in transnational organised crime”.
Mr Moreno dismissed the allegations, saying it was “not the first time that the mouthpieces of the North American empire seek to attack me with their clumsy attacks, full of manipulations and lies”.
He added that “cowardly and unfounded accusations like these only strengthen my desire to keep working from the Supreme Court to guarantee access to justice and due process to all citizens of the land”.
Previous offers of rewards for top Venezuelan officials have so far had little effect. In March of this year, the US accused President Maduro of “narco-terrorism” and said it would pay $15m for information leading to his arrest.
Maybe the Department of State should speak with the Taliban, they say they have some very capable bounty hunters?
Mr Moreno, who as chief justice wields considerable power, will not face any problems within Venezuela or should he decide to travel to any of Venezuela’s allies.
However, he could face arrest if he travels to any countries within the US orbit, and he and his wife are now banned from entering the US. LINK
The US and its local collaborators have resorted to all possible measures in its failed efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan Government and install a client regime, outlined in a leaked SouthCom document in 2018.
The measures have included a years-long economic blockade against shipments of essential goods and services, an assassination attempt against President Maduro at a military parade in 2018, a massive media disinformation campaign to generate propaganda against the Venezuelan Government and officials, and an maritime invasion attempt by several small but heavily armed groups of mercenaries earlier this year. The US has been further tightening its sanctions on the Venezuelan government for months, but is running out of additional targets and they appear more and more to be acts of frustration and spite.
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