The retired Army Major General and current deputy of the ruling party in the National Assembly, Hugo Carvajal, waited nine years to ask the United States Department of the Treasury to remove his name from the black list of those punished for ties to drug trafficking. Carvajal went to the Venezuelan Public Ministry on Thursday to request that they investigate him for the accusations of his alleged collaboration with drug traffickers and he was willing to testify in the United States.
The former head of the Military Intelligence Directorate (DIM) of Venezuela during the Chávez government stated: “I confirm my firm decision to move to the United States to give a statement as long as I am guaranteed immunity from jurisdiction, return to my country and the arrest warrant issued against me is lifted beforehand ”.
The most compelling evidence of the accusation against the former head of the DIM is in a series of documents found in the computer of Raúl Reyes, former FARC commander, which indicate his alleged collaboration in the delivery of weapons to the guerrilla group and in a network of businesses related to drug trafficking. “All the information that came out there to the Supreme Court of Colombia and Spain was dismissed due to mismanagement that happened there … Everything that appears there is attributed to me,” he explained on the Venezuelan radio program La Cola Feliz.
Carvajal, nicknamed The chicken, has dissociated itself from ties with drug trafficking a few weeks after the vice president of Venezuela, Tareck El Aissami, and his partner, businessman Sarmark López, were sanctioned by the US Treasury for alleged collaborations with drug trafficking mafias. The former head of the DIM has denied that his decision is related to these accusations against El Aissami. “It is a coincidence,” he added.
Until days ago, the Government of Venezuela had dismissed the accusations of the United States for drug trafficking. But the sanction against the Venezuelan vice president has triggered a campaign in defense of the image of Chavismo.
A “hero” arrested
Join now EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits
Two weeks ago, the National Telecommunications Commission of the Caribbean country ordered to cut the signal of the television channel CNN in Spanish for broadcasting a program that involved El Aissami and senior officials of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry in the sale of passports to foreigners suspected of terrorism . The same vice president has been in charge of publishing a denial in the newspaper on Wednesday The New York Times about his alleged relationship with drug trafficking.
For opponents of the ruling party, Carvajal’s jump is suspicious. Chavismo has overprotected the former head of the DIM. At the end of July 2014, the retired Army Major General was received as “a hero” by President Nicolás Maduro after being detained for five days by the Aruba authorities who complied with an arrest warrant from the United States. Only the diplomatic efforts of the Government of Venezuela managed to get rid of him, since the military man was the consul of the Caribbean island and his inauguration represented an obstacle to his imprisonment. “You made us suffer, you heard,” said the Venezuelan president to Carvajal.