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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Former Venezuelan Spy Chief Extradited from Spain to US for Trafficking 6 Tons of Cocaine to Mexico

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

A former Venezuelan spymaster, close to the country's late leader Hugo Chávez has been extradited to New York from Spain on Wednesday to face decade-old drug trafficking charges.

Retired Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal will enter a not guilty plea at his initial appearance Thursday in Manhattan federal court, his lawyer, Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, told The Associated Press.

Nicknamed “El Pollo”, Carvajal advised Chávez for more than a decade. Carvajal took part in the failed 1992 coup that lifted Maduro's predecessor and mentor Chavez to political prominence and is considered one of the most powerful figures of the socialist leader's 1999-2013 rule. He later broke with Chávez's handpicked successor, Nicolás Maduro, and threw his support behind his US-backed opponents.

He did so in dramatic fashion: releasing a videotaped speech from an undisclosed location calling on his former cohorts in the military to rebel against their commander in chief a month into mass protests seeking to replace Maduro with lawmaker Juan Guaido, who the US recognized as Venezuela's legitimate leader because of his role as head of the democratically elected National Assembly.

In the end, the barracks revolt never materialized, Guaido's movement faded and Maduro's grip on power has since only strengthened. Meanwhile, Carvajal fled to Spain, fearing arrest.

Cartel de Los Soles

Prosecutors in New York in 2011 alleged that Carvajal used his high office to coordinate the smuggling of approximately 5,600 kilograms (12,300 pounds) of cocaine aboard a jet from Venezuela to Mexico in 2006.

Late Hugo Chavez with Carvajal.

He allegedly arranged the shipment as one of the leaders of the so-called Cartel of the Suns that was accused of flooding the US with cocaine. The name is a reference to the sun insignias affixed to the uniforms of Venezuelan military officers.

“Carvajal abandoned his responsibility to the people of Venezuela and exploited his position for personal gain,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Chief Anne Milgram said in a statement. "DEA and our partners stand united to bring to justice anyone, in any position, who endangers the safety and health of the American people.”

Carvajal also allegedly provided weapons to armed FARC guerrillas in Colombia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, and helped fund the insurgents by facilitating shipments of large amounts of U.S.-bound cocaine through Venezuela.

On Wednesday, National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez, a close Maduro ally, called on the U.S. to extradite the 63-year-old former spy chief to Venezuela so he could face multiple criminal charges in his home country as well.

In 2020, US prosecutors added Maduro and several other senior officials and Colombian rebel leaders to the narco-terrorism conspiracy charges, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life behind bars. 

One of those co-defendants, General Cliver Alcala, who also had broken with Maduro, last month pleaded guilty to lesser charges of assisting the rebel group.

As head of military counter-intelligence from 2004 to 2011, he was once one of the most powerful men in Venezuela. He was first arrested in 2014 Aruba but released because he held a diplomatic passport.

After turning against Maduro by backing opposition leader Juan Guaidó when the latter declared himself interim president, he fled Venezuela to the Dominican Republic before settling in Spain.

He was arrested by Spanish authorities in 2019 but went into hiding after his extradition to the US was approved.

A back-and-forth legal battle followed Carvajal's first arrest in Spain in 2019 and delayed the extradition. The process also was halted for nearly two years, after Carvajal vanished while on bail after being tipped off that the Spanish National Court was about to rule on his extradition. He used his background in spy tradecraft to hide from Spanish authorities.

He was recaptured in September 2021, but the former general continued delaying extradition on numerous appeals that he ultimately lost. He had also applied for political asylum, which Spain rejected. He pleaded not guilty in US court this week.

Sources:  Reuters, BBC


  1. Hugo Chavez se murio y esta descansando, a pero que desmadre dejo.

    1. Si porque El otro pendejo Maduro, ESTA siendo pendijadas.

  2. El Ruso real name Juan Jose Ponce Felix.


  4. You guys see this? SLRC

  5. So the only reason he's in trouble is because he couldn't pull off the USA dirty work. Let's all be honest

    1. Like Noriega in Panama.

    2. The dirty work as you called it would be freedom to millions of venezuelians.
      But hey you live in a nice bubble with the golden spoon in your ass

  6. He's a jumpy boy, this one, changing horses in the middle of the street. Someone you could definately trust to snitch before trial.

  7. Dude thought maduro was GONE fall and decided to betray Him now look at Him all My respect to Diosdado and the general who remain loyal despite the odds and inmense pressure also much respect to the soldiers who remain loyal ready to combat and defend el cartel de los soles

  8. He got got extradited to the U.S to just sit in a cell locked down 23 hours a day just to be depressed and die slowly and still gave the U.S the benefit of saying they got ‘em in that hole. Shit! I would have taken my self out the game before I met my misery. Straight up.

  9. When US prosecutors talk about this being for ''personal gain'' it can be so hard to know what isn't being talked about from one side, and what can't be talked about because of ''national security'' on the other. (1000 redacted documents) Sanctions, diplomatic blackmail, and the squeezing of economies of democracies the US is hostile towards often make the smuggling of Cocaine an obvious short term fix to prop up entire communities by the State in Central America. I have seen so many people accused of corruption by the US when the people involved had no other choice to keep their institutions safe from the local Mexican proxies who were looking to put their foot in the door and worm their way in to affect Government policy, and eventually take over the majority of the local institutions. It isn't always about personal greed. Then after 2 new administrations they are unable to defend themselves, because the indictments are still there, but the justifications no longer mean a thing.
    Or he was just a greedy cynical fuck.

  10. Can someone explain to me how Man from Venezuela shipping work to Mexico has anything to do with the US why would he get extradited to US. What could possibly be the charges??

    1. If you know the dope is forwarded to the US or you use US companies to clean your money. Then you get shipped to the states. But that should be common knowledge when you visit BB

  11. The article mentions he "flooded the U.S with cocaine", an illegal act..

  12. Tried to flip the coin to avoid being jailed in the US. That didnt work


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