“How A Politician Accused of Drug Trafficking Became Venezuela’s Vice President”

Drug trafficker Walid Makled Garcia claimed the then Venezuelan Interior Justice Minister, Tareck El Aissami, had a brother in debt to him; which led the United States Treasury Department to support those claims with ones of their own, being that Mr. El Aissami has tens of million of (now frozen) assets in the United States. The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control accused him of being a drug pin throughout Central America by directing shipments and drug planes’ air space, even though he has a high chance of winning the Venezuelan presidency in 2018 as a leftist candidate. Current President, Nicolas Maduro, has defended his deputy, but other officials are in hot water too, such as the first lady’s nephews pushing 1,700 pounds of cocaine, and current Interior Justice Minister Nestor Reverol who obstructed investigations by accepting bribes. Once Aissami left the National Assembly under President Chavez, then he really gained power. Mr. El Aissami ceded control to gang leaders and the government began relaxing control over prisons where gang leaders took over. Internal crime rings rose, known as ‘Pranes’, one of which ‘El Picure’, which grew around Tocoron Prison by murdering, kidnapping, and extorting ransoms. Opposition candidate, Rodrigo Campos, says Aissami was permissive of everything and focused more on cracking down on political rivals. President Maduro continues to defend El Aissami as allegations continue. When CNN’s Spanish channel broadcasts a file linking Aissami to a passport-selling scheme out of the Venezuelan embassy in Baghdad; Mr. Maduro reacted by taking the channel off the air. Only time will tell who else will crumble, or potentially rise.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/world/americas/venezuela-tareck-el-aissami-drugs-sanctions-maduro.html?_r=0