The latest accusation came on Wednesday via Twitter from the notorious U.S. migration agency ICE. On their official account they stated that Venezuela Industry Minister Tareck El Aissami is ‘Wanted’ for drug smuggling and links to Hezbollah.
Venezuela’s official response came from Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who said, “Venezuela repudiates the obsessive harassment by U.S. Government against Venezuelan democratic institutions, which adds to the campaigns to discredit the dignity of our country’s authorities. We reiterate our total support for our comrade and economy minister Tareck El Aissami."
El Aissami also rejected the allegations, posting a video on his Twitter account, standing by a hydroelectric plant in Bolivar State, he said, “They can accuse us of what they want; we’ll continue working to realise the dream of Bolivar, of our homeland.”
President Nicolas Maduro backed his minister stating, “I repudiate the fallacious and manipulative attacks that have been made against the minister and I ask the support of the Venezuelan people.”
“As Commander Hugo Chavez taught us, we know that these attacks are intended to break the morale of the Chavista leadership. They will not achieve it. Now more than ever we ratify our determination to following the path of Chavez,” he said.
El Aissami is now on the U.S. governments ‘most wanted list,’ despite no credible evidence.
Also on Thursday, Venezuela rejected a fresh violation of their airspace by a U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II electronic spy plane, which entered the Maiquetia airspace area, near Caracas, without following any of the agreed protocol.