Tags: Latin America | Venezuela | nicolas maduro | corruption | drug trafficking | intelligence | hugo carvajal

Venezuela's Ex-Intel Head Accuses Maduro, Inner Circle of Corruption

hugo carvajal, a congressman in venezuela's governing socialist party, listens to a reporter's question
Hugo Carvajal, a congressman in Venezuela's governing Socialist Party (Fernando Llano/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 21 February 2019 05:54 PM

A former intelligence chief in Venezuela turned on President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday, blasting him as a dictator with a corrupt inner circle that has involved in drug running and wooing Hezbollah militants, The New York Times reported.

Hugo Carvajal, a congressman in the governing Socialist Party, is now urging Venezuela's military to break with the president ahead of a showdown with the opposition Saturday over Maduro's blockade of aid shipments, the Times reported.

"It has been more than enough," Carvajal said Thursday in a statement posted on Twitter aimed at Maduro. "You have killed hundreds of young people in the streets for trying to claim the rights you stole. This without even counting the dead for lack of medicines and security."

"To the generals," he added, "how is it that having the power to allow the entry of international humanitarian aid to our country to save lives, you would decide not to? Would you be so inhuman? So hypnotized?"

According to the Times, Carvajal's accusations showed a willingness to provide evidence that could be used against Maduro's government should it fall – and provided a valuable weapon to the opposition, which for years has accused the president's inner circle of having ties to drug traffickers and militants.

In interviews with the Times, the retired intel service member claimed drug trafficking and corruption were commonplace in the government, and were managed by top figures like Néstor Reverol, the interior minister – whom as the head of Venezuela's anti-drug agency, allegedly let drug-laden planes land – Tareck El Aissami, a minister who served as vice president and whom Carvajal accuses of courting Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant organization, and Maduro himself.

Those who were combating drugs "were the ones trafficking it, too," he said of Venezuelan officials who face indictments or sanctions in the United States, the Times reported.

Carvajal himself is among those accused of drug trafficking by American investigators, the Times noted, but escaped extradition in Aruba in 2014 and was sanctioned by the Treasury Department for having aided Colombian guerrilla groups smuggle cocaine.

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Turning on President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday, a former intelligence chief in Venezuela blasted him as a dictator with a corrupt inner circle that has involved in drug running and wooing Hezbollah militants, according to The New York Times.
nicolas maduro, corruption, drug trafficking, intelligence, hugo carvajal
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2019-54-21
Thursday, 21 February 2019 05:54 PM
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