On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that sanctions were being imposed on Venezuelan Chief Justice Maikel Moreno (Reuters). In addition, Pompeo announced a $5 million reward for any information leading to Moreno’s arrest or conviction (Reuters). Pompeo accused Moreno of accepting bribes to influence the outcomes of criminal proceedings in Venezuela (El Nacional). Florida prosecutors earlier this year also charged Moreno with money laundering (El Nacional).
Moreno dismissed the allegations, criticizing the United States and calling the charges manipulative and false (BBC). Moreno is not the first Venezuelan official to be charged by the U.S., with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro himself being charged in March with narcoterrorism (BBC). Maduro has denied these allegations, describing them as politically motivated (AP). The Trump administration has put pressure on the Maduro regime, hoping to oust the Venezuelan president and replace him with opposition leader Juan Guaido (DW).