- Venezuela’s justice department in exile has asked Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant for Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro.
- A letter from the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile to Interpol’s secretary-general accused Maduro of corruption and said he accepted funds from illegal activity.
- Maduro presides over one of the worst economic crises in the world, where people struggle to afford food and basic necessities.
Venezuela’s justice department in exile has requested an international arrest warrant, also known as a red notice, for Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro.
The Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile accused Maduro of corruption in a letter to Jürgen Stock, the secretary-general of Interpol, dated on Monday.
The exiled department, which calls itself the Legitimate TSJ, was established in 2017 amid a constitutional change.
It said that Maduro accepted, directly or indirectly, funds from illegal activity and called for 18 years and three months in jail.
“As a result of the aforementioned, this Plenary Chamber considered it appropriate to request that Interpol issue a red notice for Nicolás Maduro Moros for the purposes of international cooperation on common crimes for the apprehension of the above-mentioned subject,” said the letter, which was addressed from Coral Gables, Florida.
Maduro is presiding over one of the world’s worst economic crises. The country has been struggling through hyperinflation, power cuts, and food shortages.
Recent polls of Venezuelans show that many struggle to afford basic necessities, and the country often sees mass protests because of the economic hardship. Venezuela’s government has often used violence to suppress these protests.
Locals need stacks of cash just to buy basic food items. This August a roll of toilet paper cost 2.6 million Venezuelan bolívars, or $US0.40. A kilogram of carrots cost 3 million bolívars, or $US0.46.
The country’s inflation hit an annual rate of 830,000% this year to October. The International Monetary Fund said Venezuela’s annual inflation rate was likely to pass 1 million per cent this year.
The government’s policies to fight the crisis included devaluing the bolívar by 95% and pegging it to the country’s state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro.
More than 3 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants have fled to nearby countries including Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, USA Today has reported, citing United Nations officials. The huge number of Venezuelan arrivals have “strained” those host countries, the UN said.
At the same time, Maduro has been living extravagantly. He dined at the viral chef Salt Bae’s restaurant in Istanbul in September, where steaks can run cost up to $US275.
Maduro’s whereabouts are not clear. Business Insider has contacted Interpol for comment.
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