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In the wake of a growing scandal involving allegations of drug trafficking at the highest level of the government, Miranda state governor Tarek El Aissami announced today that Venezuela is asking the United States to extradite former governor Rafael Isea. El Aissami said:

Venezuela demands the extradition of Rafael Isea Romero so that he may be brought before Venezuelan justice.

El Aissami said that Isea is suspected of having been an associate of a drug trafficker named Walid Makled.

Isea is currently believed to be in the United States. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Isea was one of several former Venezuelan officials cooperating with U.S. law enforcement agencies on drug-trafficking case involving high-ranking Venezuelan government and army officials.

El Aissami also took a harsh tone against Isea, saying:

[He] is a miserable servant of the empire’s interests. He is a fugitive under investigation for drug trafficking and corruption. He is a traitor to Commander Chavez and to the people of Aragua [state].

Study: 85% Plan to Vote in Fall

A study conducted by the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello found that 85% of Venezuelans plan to vote in the parliamentary elections that are supposed to take place in the fall. While the date of the elections has yet to be announced, constitutional term limits mean that they must take place before the National Assembly reconvenes in early January of 2016.

The same survey found that while 29.5% of respondents said they supported the opposition, 25.3% believes that “all politicians are the same”.

When asked if they trusted the Consejo Nacional Electoral – the body that oversees elections – to hold impartial proceedings, 64% responded that they did not. The number of Venezuelans who do not trust the CNE is up dramatically since 2003, when 79.2% of people trusted it to remain fair and impartial during elections.

The survey polled 1,200 homes and has a margin of error of 2%.

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