Business

Hugo Carvajal: Venezuelan ex-spy chief arrested in Spain

April 13, 2019 • By

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (right) embraces Gen Hugo Carvajal as they attend the Socialist party congress in Caracas on 27 July, 2014Picture copyright
Reuters

Picture caption

Mr Carvajal (left) publicly denounced President Maduro (proper) earlier this 12 months

The previous head of Venezuela’s army intelligence has been arrested by Spanish police over US drug expenses.

The US Justice Division, which initially unsealed the fees in 2014, has requested Hugo Carvajal’s extradition.

Mr Carvajal was an in depth ally of the nation’s late socialist chief Hugo Chavez, however in February denounced his successor President Nicolás Maduro.

He has backed Juan Guaido, an opposition determine, as interim chief.

Mr Guaido declared himself president in January, citing Venezuela’s structure, and has since gained the backing of dozens of nations together with the US – which is spearheading worldwide stress on President Maduro.

Regardless of widespread protests, Mr Maduro has thus far largely retained the army’s help and in addition has highly effective worldwide allies.

What’s Mr Carvajal accused of?

Often known as El Pollo (The Rooster), Mr Carvajal was a number one determine in Venezuelan politics for many years.

He has been below US sanctions since 2008, over allegations he helped Colombia’s Farc insurgent group and guarded US-bound drug shipments.

Media playback is unsupported in your system

Media captionJuan Guaidó: ‘We wish genuinely free elections in Venezuela’

Federal expenses, which accuse him of co-ordinating a 5,600kg (12,345lb) cargo of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico in 2006, grew to become public in 2014.

That 12 months he was arrested on the fees on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, the place he was serving as a consul, however he was freed after the extradition request was denied.

Mr Carvajal returned to Venezuela to a hero’s welcome, however publicly broke with the nation’s management earlier this 12 months.

In a video posted on social media in February, he publicly threw his help behind Mr Guaido and urged different army figures to do the identical.

An unnamed US administration official has instructed Reuters information company that it’s hoped Mr Carvajal might co-operate and provide precious info on the Venezuelan chief.

It’s reported that the previous spy chief will seem earlier than Spain’s Excessive Courtroom on Saturday, the place the extradition request might be reviewed.