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Drug charges for Venezuela president’s relatives reverberate as election campaign kicks off

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CARACAS, Venezuela _ The arrest of two nephews of the Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores on U.S. drug trafficking charges is being used by the opposition to blast the government during the launch of the campaign season for crucial Dec. 6 congressional elections.

The men related by marriage to President Nicolas Maduro were arrested in Haiti on Tuesday on charges of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States. They are being held in New York without bail.

The opposition hammered on the scandal on Friday during nationwide rallies marking the official start of the fight for control of Congress. Opposition leaders say the arrests show the need for change after 16 years of socialist party rule.

The government has not commented on the arrests.

The Associated Press

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