The National Court of Spain approved on Wednesday the extradition to the United States of the former director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence of the Venezuelan dictatorship, Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal.
Carvajal’s extradition is in response to charges in the Southern District of New York and in the Southern District of Florida, for conspiracy to commit narcoterrorism, conspiracy to import cocaine, and charges related to the exchange of firearms with terrorist groups in Colombia.
The former Chavista official was captured in Madrid in early September in a joint operation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after almost two years on the run from justice.
During that time, Carvajal had undergone face surgery and wore wigs to hide his identity.
Extradition of “El Pollo” and his valuable information
Carvajal is the keeper of immeasurable information on Venezuelan-led drug trafficking operations, and his testimony could be as useful to the United States as it has been to Spain and other Western countries.
After his capture, Carvajal gave statements to the Spanish justice system in which he provided evidence of illicit financing of a radical leftist political party in that country by the Venezuelan dictatorship, as well as by various communist organizations in the hemisphere.
The evidence provided by Carvajal in Spain revealed intimate relations between the communist dictatorship of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela with leftist leaders in Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Argentina, Paraguay, and Italy.
According to information from the Spanish media OKDIARIO, Carvajal told the judges that “at present, the illegal financing of leftist movements around the world continues to be a common practice of Nicolás Maduro’s government, which was part of his foreign policy when he was Venezuela’s foreign minister.”
In addition, the former Chavista military officer accused several members of the Venezuelan leadership of having helped “smuggle Hezbollah militants into [Venezuela], have done business with a drug trafficker and have safeguarded 140 tons of chemicals believed to have been used for the manufacture of cocaine.”
One of those accused by Carvajal is Tarek El Aissami, for whose surrender the United States is offering a $10 million reward, along with Nicolás Maduro, Diosdado Cabello and five other high-ranking members of the Venezuelan dictatorship.
Carvajal is now under the custody of the International Police Cooperation Unit, which must extradite him to the United States.