DEA Busts Relatives of Venezuelan President

First lady's nephews were flown to US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2015 2:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly accuses the US of plotting against him, and the arrest of two family members by American authorities is unlikely to soften his stance. The two men were arrested in Haiti on Tuesday and flown to New York the same day to answer charges of plotting to smuggle 800 kilograms of cocaine to the US, reports the Wall Street Journal, which notes that the US alleges top-level government involvement in Venezuelan drug trafficking. The two suspects are Franqui Francisco Flores-de Freitas and Efrain Antonio Campo-Flores, nephews of Maduro's wife, Cilia Flores, reports Reuters.

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Sources tell the New York Times that the two men approached a DEA informant in Honduras last month to discuss smuggling the shipment and were arrested in Haiti at the request of US authorities before being flown to the US on a DEA plane. Maduro—who says US accusations of government involvement in drug trafficking are part of an American conspiracy to bring down his socialist government —is due to speak about his country's human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, Reuters reports. On the same day, his wife's nephews are due to make their first appearance in federal District Court in Manhattan. (Read more Nicolas Maduro stories.)

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