The Attorney General of the Venezuelan Government, Tarek William Saab, has asked Spain for the extradition of retired Venezuelan general Hugo ‘El Pollo’ Carvajal. Saab has reported that Carvajal, who was head of the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgicim) in the times of Hugo Chávez and is detained in the European country, is accused in Venezuela of “sedition and treason.” The prosecutor has declared that Carvajal is part of “the most extremist sector that has been adverse to the Venezuelan State since 2017” and has linked him to plans to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro. The United States has also demanded the extradition of the retired general, who is charged with drug trafficking and terrorism.
Hugo ‘El Pollo’ Carvajal is a military man formed by Hugo Chávez who was part of the trustworthy environment of the former president and carried out delicate state missions. In the first months of the Maduro government, it distanced itself from the Bolivarian revolution. By then, it already had international accusations. After working in the world of espionage and counterinsurgency, Carvajal, Hugo Chávez already dead, was a deputy elector for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the 2015 parliamentary elections. Despite his reputation as a fierce security man, Since then, he has cultivated a moderate and accessible profile in that Parliament that comfortably dominated the opposition and whose functions were violated as of 2017.
His distancing from Chavismo began to be discussed in a low voice as of 2016 and his break took place in 2019, when Carvajal came out in favor of the opposition leader Juan Guaidó. At that time versions were circulating about his interest in retiring from politics and dedicating himself to family life. Shortly after he went into exile in Spain and almost immediately had to go into hiding.
The Venezuelan government, both in the time of Chávez and in the beginning of Maduro, had exercised a fierce defense of Carvajal when he was accused in 2008 by the United States Department of the Treasury of drug trafficking and of supplying arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Also when he was detained on the island of Aruba and had to be released for showing diplomatic credentials. Later, Carvajal was considered a traitor.
“The Carvajal chicken is yours, not ours, go see what they do with it, gentlemen of the opposition,” declared Diosdado Cabello, number two of the Chavista regime, on his television program Con the deck giving, commenting on the capture and the accusations against his former partner. “He’s kneeling before Guaidó and now we are the ones to blame for what happens to him. That is the fate of traitors, fortunately I am healed from the betrayals, ”said Cabello.
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