Maduro blames imperialism for drug trafficking conviction of first lady's nephews

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on 25 November 2016 blamed "imperialism" for attacking his wife Cilia Flores via the conviction of her two nephews, Efraín Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, for conspiracy to import 1,760 pounds of cocaine into the United States. Speaking about the case for the first time after the nephews were found guilty in a New York City court on 18 November, Maduro attributed their conviction to "imperialist attacks" to undermine the Bolivarian revolution (Panorama). Cilia Flores is a current legislator and former Attorney General who previously served as the President of Venezuela's Asamblea Nacional (AN). The nephews' case was debated by the opposition-backed AN, which on 22 November approved an accord rejecting the Flores' influence peddling and abuse of power, urging Maduro to provide information about the case, and requesting the Attorney General's Office to initiate a pre-trial procedure against Maduro for his assumed links to the case. These links include the nephews' diplomatic passports and their use of the presidential hangar at Caracas' main international airport (Efecto Cocuyo).