My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, Chicken run: The curious case of Venezuela’s Pollo Carvajal, on the released general, is up. Please read it and hit the tip jar!
Archive for the ‘Venezuela’ Category
Carlos Eire says it’s conclusive proof that humans need to evolve further.
Linked to by Dustbury. Thank you!
In today’s WSJ, Aruba: Venezuela Pressured It Militarily
The Netherlands’ release of a former top Venezuelan official wanted by the U.S. for alleged drug trafficking came after Venezuela raised economic and military pressure on two Dutch islands in the Caribbean, officials said.
Aruba’s chief prosecutor Peter Blanken said that Venezuelan navy ships neared Aruba and Curaçao over the weekend as Dutch officials were debating what to do with Hugo Carvajal —Venezuela’s former chief of military intelligence who was jailed in Aruba last week on a U.S. warrant.
“The threat was there,” Mr. Blanken said. “We don’t know what their intentions were, but I think a lot of people in Aruba were scared that something would happen.”
Holland is a member of NATO and as such Aruba would be protected, as WSJ commenter Donald Hutchinson points out, but, in the Obama administration’s era of “smart diplomacy”, the Dutch couldn’t count on that:
Assuming that US intelligence was not asleep, all,it would take would be a fly over by US Navy jets and a notification that any offensive action would be met by the immediate destruction of their ships. Holland is a member of NATO and such actioned would clearly be sanctioned,
It would also be a devastating set back to the former bus driver running Venezuela for bringing shame to their military.
But what one might expect from a timid White House and a preoccupied State Department?
Then there’s the oil,
Mr. Blanken said Venezuela’s government also had threatened to sever Venezuela’s vital commercial air links to Aruba and Curaçao. Venezuela’s state oil company also threatened to withdraw from a contract to manage Curaçao’s refinery, Mr. Blanken said, which would have put at risk some 8,000 jobs.
To put that number of jobs in perspective, Aruba’s total population is 103,009.
In the “no sh*t, Sherlock” file, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman’s reaction was, “This is not the way law enforcement matters should be handled.” At least they didn’t #hashtag it.
Hugo Carvajal a.k.a. “”el Pollo” is one of the guys who took part in Hugo Chávez’s unsuccessful 1992 military coup, later rising to the rank of general, but with a sideline,
Mr. Carvajal’s role as one of the Chávez government’s key liaisons to guerrillas from Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, emerged after computers belonging to a slain guerrilla leader were captured by Colombian security forces in 2008.
Here’s the indictment in the U.S. District Court accusing Carvajal of coordinating the transport of 5,600 kilos (6.17 tons) of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico.
Clearly, everyone applied pressure, but the weak link did not turn out to be Aruba as I suggested on my first post, but rather The Netherlands, as reportedly even Russia played a role, exchanging concessions on the Ucraine plane for helping release Carvajal. No matter what anyone says or how this is interpreted, it was a severe blow to the US, who would have loved to get Carvajal onshore.
One of my sources also mentions that team Obama had about 30 days to hand over its Extradition Request to Aruba but failed to; the Treasury Dept, the DEA and a U.S. District Court (mentioned above) had indicted him last year. It reminds me of drug kingpin Walid Makled, who was released to Venezuela by Santos of Colombia after the U.S. dragged its feet.
We’re in the best of hands.
While the Dutch allow Carvajal diplomatic immunity, the Egyptians search Secretary of State John Kerry, which was no biggie, but he fumes over Israel’s criticism.
“Malvinas banner” display costs Argentina 30.000 Swiss francs fine
FIFA has fined the Argentine Football Association 30,000 Swiss francs (£19,540) as punishment for the displaying of a provocative banner relating to the Falkland Islands.
Pope sends message demanding justice on 20th anniversary of AMIA bombing
On the 20th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing, the Argentine pontiff sent a message for “justice” to Argentina’s Israeli community and relatives of the 85 victims that resulted dead in the attack.
Senator urges Chile to take ‘active’ role in Israel-Palestine conflict
Campaigners from the large Palestinian community calls for greater action in conflict while DC deputy warns against ‘bringing the conflict to Chile.’
Obama’s Border Summit Theater
Rate of Girls Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border Alone Outpaces Boys, Study Finds
The number of unaccompanied girls caught crossing into the U.S. at the border with Mexico has grown far more quickly this year than the number of boys, according to a Pew Research Center report.
Previously uncontacted Peruvian Indians ‘could carry flu back to tribe’
Activists fear that virus contracted by Amazonian tribe members fleeing violent attacks could spread through vulnerable and isolated communities
Mercosur is ‘not working’ because of protectionism and lack of arbitration
Mercosur is “not working” and is “stalled” admitted Uruguayan president Jose Mujica and blamed the situation on different visions of the block’s functioning, according to an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo.
The Hijacking of a Venezuelan Newspaper
The week’s posts & podcast:
Aruba: Venezuelan consul detained on drug charges
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Case study in “smart diplomacy”: Bolivia
The week’s podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week
Three chavistas indicted for conspiring with Colombian FARC drug traffickers to export cocaine to the U.S.:
- Hugo Carvajal, a.k.a. “”el Pollo,” a former chief of Venezuelan military intelligence, detained in Aruba while awaiting confirmation as Nicolás Maduro’s consul-general to Aruba,
- former Venezuelan judge, Benny Palmeri-Bacchi, arrested last week in Miami,
- and the former head of Interpol in Venezuela, Rodolfo McTurk, whereabouts were unknown.
Daniel Duquenal speculates,
If indeed Carvajal is sent to the US, beyond diplomatic implications that this will entail, the local consequences will be high. There are possibly dozens and dozens of chavista high officials with dossiers under investigation and the reality for them has suddenly changed. Never mind that if Carvajal is indeed sent to the US, he may add a lot to these dossiers.
In addition to providing weapons to the FARC, Carvajal had been allegedly working with Iranian intelligence, and is under investigation for his role on the attacks to the Colombian consulate, and the Jewish center in Caracas.
In the Miami indictment unsealed Thursday, Mr. Carvajal is accused of taking bribes from late Colombian kingpin Wilber Varela, who was killed in 2008, and in return allowing Mr. Varela to export cocaine to the U.S. from Venezuela and avoid arrest by Venezuelan authorities.
Carvajal directly dealt with one-time of the world’s top three drug kingpins, Walid Makled, according to Makled himself,
“For example, I used to give a weekly fee of 200 million bolívares (about $50,000 at the time), and 100 million was for General Hugo Carvajal,” Mr. Makled said.
Makled went on trial in Venezuela since the Obama administration dragged its feet; I do not know the outcome of the trial.
Carvajal is now seeking diplomatic immunity in Aruba.
Daniel Duquenal expands on this,
The first thing, oddly, is the timing. Since Lopez arrest 5 months ago and the alleged clear evidence one wonders why did it take so long for the regime to start the trial. Waiting for the end of guarimbas? A trial can restart them at any time. Waiting for folks to go on vacation? There are no flights out! Expecting for scarcity problems to soften? They are not and will not for the foreseeable future. The answer is elsewhere,with the PSUV congress about to open. Some red meat thrown to the radical wing. Period, IMHO.
Another thing to wonder comes by asking the reverse question: why bother trying Lopez anyway? International pressure plays a role here, but not necessarily the way you may think. Sure enough there has been plenty of publications, the Washington Post for one pushing up the subject of Lopez dismal jail conditions. But the real deal brokers may be the people trying to organize Venezuela’s financial rescue.
Without a doubt, this is a show trial: Daniel concludes his post,
In case you still do not get it, the trial starts with 138 “witnesses” for the prosecution and only 1, ONE, for the defense
Thanks to Kepler, we can somehow confirm that our Chinese overlords are indeed taking the building. In this article from the website Archidead, looks like the Bank of China will turn “La Torre de David” as its South American HQ.
It’s going to be interesting to see what exactly the Chinese get from this, considering the ruinous state of Venezuela’s oil industry.
Maybe Homeland will do a follow-up episode on the “new”, Chinese, tower.
Just as the headlines feature a Video Posted by Ukrainian Government Shows Russian Surface-to-Air Missile Carrier Hightailing It Back to Russia… Missing One Missile, Russia will reopen spy base in Cuba
A report that Russia will reopen a Havana base that eavesdropped on U.S. communications from Key West to Washington has triggered fresh warnings of Moscow’s expansionism and predictions of a continued freeze in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Until its closure in 2002, the Lourdes base was Moscow’s largest intelligence facility abroad, with up to 1,500 KGB and GRU military intelligence officers manning an array of antennas and computers in the super-secret 28-square-mile base.
The article says, “If true, reports that Russia will reopen a spy base in Cuba will complicate, if not halt, any Obama administration effort to warm up relations with Havana,” which is risible, considering current U.S. foreign policy.
Bolivia becomes first nation to legalise child labour from age 10
Bolivia says law reflects reality in country where 1 million children regularly work, but activists complain it will increase poverty and contravenes United Nations conventions
Colombian drug boss ‘The Mouse’ arrested by Spanish police
Hernan Alonso Villa is considered to be leader of the Oficina de Envigado cartel which is accused of 400 killings and is connected to the now-dismantled Medellin cartel
ALBA’s Favorite Lobbyist
Opening of Mexican Energy Sector Takes Step Forward
Mexico’s Senate voted to give Mexican companies a greater role in energy projects under the landmark opening of the country’s oil and gas sectors, tightening the national content rules that President Enrique Peña Nieto had proposed and partly satisfying demands of local industry groups.
On Southern Border, Mexico Faces Crisis of Its Own
Mexico has announced plans for tightened deportation and border control policies as its migrant numbers surge in response to worsening gang violence in Central America.
The week’s posts:
Andrew McCarthy on the border invasion
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
This week in smart diplomacy
Venezuelan gov’t approaches world banks
Next October-November a very high concentration of the debt of the Nation and Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) will involve payment on account of amortization and interest for approximately USD 7 billion
Maybe they ought to consider auctioning the Matisse.
Rafael Osío Cabrices describes I escaped Venezuela for North America. Here’s how.
Argentina and Brazil go to the World Cup semifinals, and that has been the top story all over the hemisphere.
World Cup police cooperation leads to arrest of fugitive from Argentina’s ‘dirty war’
Salvador Siciliano, a leading member of the notorious Triple A anti-communist death squad in the 1970s, captured in Brazil thanks to heightened communications between international forces around the tournament
Bolivia sanctions child labour as young as 10
Bolivian congress passes laws that allow 12-year-old children to be employed in full-time work for others, with 10-year-olds permitted to work if self-employed
Dominican Authorities Arrest 137 Haitian Migrants
NYT editorializes with this headline, Government of Ecuador Can Sue Fugitive Bankers in U.S.
Jamaica selling out its paradise
The telecom bill is a tough blow for Mr. [Carlos] Slim. It forces mobile unit Telcel to complete calls from competing networks without charge, and establishes that domestic long-distance charges made by Telmex will be phased out starting next year. The bill also gives powers to the new enhanced regulator to set some phone rates of dominant players.
Puerto Rico: The New Detroit
Puerto Rico is moving to restructure a large slice of its debt. More trouble could be on the way. And, Mercado Libre is the eBay of Latin America. But it has a new competitor: eBay itself.
The week’s posts and podcast:
Guatemala: When The Mountains Tremble to be corrected
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Bean-counting Catholic justices
Are Liberals Patriotic?