Former Venezuelan general and Hugo Chavez ally Hugo Carvajal will be extradited to the US to face drug-trafficking charges after failing to gain political asylum in Spain, the Spanish High Court said on Wednesday.
The former head of Venezuela’s military intelligence was arrested last month by Spanish authorities while he was hiding out in Madrid, avoiding extradition orders.
Nicknamed ‘El Pollo’ (meaning the Chicken), Carvajal had been arrested once before in April 2019, but was released after a court labeled the extradition orders “too abstract.”
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Having served as military intelligence chief under Chavez from 2004 to 2011, Carvajal was also a figure in the administration of Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro. However, Carvajal later distanced himself from the Maduro administration, publicly accusing the president of corruption in 2019 and openly declaring his support for the US-backed Juan Guaido.
Carvajal has been accused by US authorities of “narco terrorism,” trafficking dangerous drugs into the US, and collaborating with members of the guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), though he has denied these charges and claimed the allegations against him are politically motivated.
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