Tags: Venezuela | maduro | top | admiral | commander

Top Admiral: Maduro 'Mafia' Is 'Ruining' Venezuela

venezuela's president nicolas maduro speaks to supporters outside miraflores presidential palace in caracas
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 23 May 2019 10:20 AM

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s “mafia” is “ruining the country,” according to the top U.S. military commander for Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Navy Admiral Craig Faller, the head of U.S. Southern Command,” told The Hill in an interview last Tuesday that Maduro, whose refusal to leave office has led to millions in economic sanctions against Venezuela. Faller, whose post covers U.S. forces in Central and South America, with some exceptions, said that Maduro’s influence is a “significant threat” to democracy and stability in the region.

"I don't think I'd even call them a regime — it's a mafia. It's an illicit business that he's running with his 2,000 corrupt generals. It's ruining the country," Faller said. “And the effects of that are compounding every other security problem in our neighborhood. Every security problem is made worse by Venezuela.”

He added, "When we look back at the number of democracies just within a generation from when I came in and applied to the Navy in the late ’70s, it's been a significant turnaround from dictatorships [to] democracies and coups and civil wars to where we are today. But it's fragile.”

Faller said that due to the sanctions on Venezuela, Maduro’s military has allegedly taken control of cocaine smuggling routes across the Atlantic Ocean, which helps guerrilla groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

"The data and statistics show that their numbers have increased because of what they can gain in terms of freedom of maneuver and the economic opportunity that they get from illicit trafficking and partnering with the Maduro regime," the admiral said. "Illicit narco trafficking through Venezuela is up some 40 percent.”

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Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s “mafia” is “ruining the country,” according to the top U.S. military commander for Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
maduro, top, admiral, commander
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2019-20-23
Thursday, 23 May 2019 10:20 AM
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