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Venezuela crisis: Terrorist organization earns money from drug trafficking in Venezuela

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In 2015, the new Venezuelan Parliament was formed because the opposition took the majority and began a wave of calls for President Nicolas Maduro to resign from 2016.

In response, Mr. Maduro acted to scrap the National Assembly elected by the people, establishing Venezuela’s Constitutional Congress in 2017, most of whom were his supporters, according to the BBC. Since then, Venezuela has two legislative bodies, one elected by the National Assembly, with the dominant majority, and the other being the constitutional Congress established by Mr. Maduro.

Details: Context of presidential dispute in Venezuela .

Below is the evolution of the Venezuelan crisis as of Tuesday 11 June 2019:

The Maduro administration announced Tuesday that 17 people have been charged with trying to “coup” in a failed uprising on April 30, according to AFP.

“There are 34 people under investigation, of whom 17 have been detained and accused” for “attempting a coup,” said Justice Minister Tarek William Saab.

The constitutional parliament founded by Mr. Maduro stripped away the legislative immunity of legislators by the majority.

National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano was one of those arrested and charged, while 14 others had to hide in foreign diplomatic missions or flee the country, or live in hiding.

Human rights group Foro Penal said there are more than 900 “political prisoners” in Venezuela, where a quarter of the 30 million people are in need of aid, according to the UN.

Also on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a large Iran-backed terrorist group is using drug trafficking activities in Venezuela to fund operations in China, according to Washington Examiner.

“It is almost a money-making corporation,” Mr. Pompeo said of the activities of the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Venezuela during a session in the US Senate on Tuesday afternoon. “It was designed to make money for Hezbollah and their activities, mostly done in the Middle East.”

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