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A Week After Maduro Indictment, US Deploys Destroyers, Other Ships To Venezuelan Coast

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) -- The Trump administration announced Wednesday afternoon that the U.S. is moving newly-deployed naval ships toward the coast of Venezuela as it enhances counter-narcotic operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. indictment of Nicolás Maduro on drug charges.

Officials announced a 22-country coalition, led by the US will be operating in the region.

Ships including Navy destroyers, Air Force surveillance aircraft are in the Caribbean, officials said.

The mission is part of the U.S.' previously-announced commitment to enhancing counternarcotics operations in the hemisphere.

The mission has taken on greater urgency following last week's indictment of Maduro and members of his inner circle and military for leading a narcoterrorist conspiracy accused of smuggling 250-metric tons of cocaine a year into the U.S.

It also comes as Maduro steps up attacks on U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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