Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday called President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE a “racist cowboy" after the U.S. indicted him and his inner circle on several charges earlier in the day.
In his response, Maduro said that he is ready to fight by whatever means necessary should the U.S. invade Venezuela, The Associated Press reports.
Maduro was charged with narco-terrorism and 13 other Venezuelan officials were also charged by U.S. attorneys in New York, Washington and Florida. The indictments state that Maduro allegedly attempted to weaponize cocaine by "flooding" U.S. communities with the drug.
Attorney General William BarrBill BarrHolding defiant Trump witnesses to account, Jan. 6 committee carries out Congress's constitutional role Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official Appeals court questions Biden DOJ stance on Trump obstruction memo MORE said that the U.S. was not indicting a foreign head of state, which would be unprecedented, pointing out that the U.S. recognizes Juan Guaidó as the Venezuelan president.
"We do not recognize Maduro as the president of Venezuela. Obviously we indicted Noriega under similar circumstances, we did not recognize Noriega as the president of Panama," Barr said, referring to the U.S.'s 1988 indictment of former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. The U.S. invaded Panama in 1989.
The White House recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela's official president. A controversial election in 2018 led to Maduro being reelected to a second six-year term.