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U.S. Links Smuggled Cash to Venezuela

A Miami man who brought $800,000 in a suitcase into Argentina was trying to deliver a campaign contribution from the Venezuelan government to the Argentine presidential candidate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, American prosecutors said Wednesday.

Assistant United States Attorney Thomas J. Mulvihill said in court Wednesday that conversations recorded by the F.B.I. indicate that Mrs. Kirchner, who won the election and was sworn in on Monday here as Argentina’s president, was the intended recipient of the money, said Alicia Valle, special counsel to the U.S. Attorney in Miami.

The United States attorney’s office in Miami charged five men with acting and conspiring to act as agents of the Venezuelan government within the United States, without having notified the attorney general, in a scheme it said involved the highest levels of President Hugo Chávez’s government. According to prosecutors, Venezuelan agents tried to cover up the purpose of the cash and intimidated a witness in the case.

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