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Venezuela: the extraditions that darkened the October of Chavismo and Maduro

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The illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro has faced a dark month this October with the progress in the extradition processes to USA of three people linked to the Chavista Administration who can reveal sensitive information that affects it internally and externally.

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Álex Saab, Claudia Díaz and Hugo “el pollo” Carvajal are those linked to the Executive who are in the crosshairs of the US Justice for crimes of corruption or drug trafficking.

Although Saab, alleged Maduro frontman, was extradited on October 16, Díaz and Carvajal – former treasurer of the nation and former head of Counterintelligence, respectively – are in the process of handover from Spain, a country that announced its willingness to hand them over to the US Justice. .

However, the case that most worries the Government is that of Saab, a Colombian businessman who processed the purchase of food for Venezuela bypassing the United States sanctions and who was arrested on June 12, 2020 in Cape Verde when he was making a stopover.

Saab, the center of attention

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Saab, whose name became known in 2017 when former prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz named him as the president’s front man, is today defended by the Chavista regime as the “hero” who helped Venezuela import food to mitigate the crisis.

And the US authorities are investigating him for money laundering, accusing him of seven counts of money laundering and one of conspiracy.

But Maduro defends his innocence and, in an attempt to secure his release, appointed him a diplomat when he was already a prisoner in Cape Verde, which would carry, under normal circumstances, automatic immunity. But it didn’t work.

This appointment was, according to the political analyst Nicmer Evans, the product of his “desperation”, as it was the “key to a framework for the allocation of resources that have been extracted from Venezuela and that have been placed in all tax havens in the world. ”.

The attempt to avoid extradition even came at the hands of the former judge of the National Court of Spain Baltasar Garzón, who was entrusted with his defense while in prison, and fought through thick and thin, without achieving his goal.

The Chavista machinery in networks was also activated, positioning labels in favor of the liberation of Saab, as well as the promotion of mobilizations and campaigns in the official media. It wasn’t enough either.

Carvajal, from patriot to traitor

Saab’s extreme defense was not replicated in the former head of Government Counterintelligence.

“What worries Maduro is the network of all the reals that he has outside, so it is difficult today to come to the defense of what they themselves have considered a traitor,” explains Evans – also a former advisor to Chavismo -, remembering that the military he broke with the government and left the country.

However, – he adds – it does not mean that he does not have sensitive information, since “it is a key piece of intelligence and counterintelligence information, which was what he handled, perhaps also in the area of ​​human rights, he may contribute some element.”

Carvajal was arrested in April 2019 in Spain at the request of the United States, and released five months later, after the National Court refused to extradite him on the grounds that it was “political motivation.”

Subsequently, the high court agreed to hand over the former general, but he had escaped. Last September he was arrested again and his extradition was approved less than a week ago, and suspended hours later, due to a formal defect, although this decision is not final.

The United States has been searching for Carvajal since 2014, when he was detained in Aruba. His detention lasted just three days, as he had been appointed Venezuelan consul on the island in January of that year, but by then, he did not have diplomatic credentials.

After his release, he returned to Venezuela and was received as a “patriot.” Three years later, he showed his differences with the government and was branded a traitor.

Díaz, claimed by Venezuela and the United States.

The situation is different in the case of Díaz. Venezuela is also claiming the ex-treasurer for money laundering, but her extradition was rejected by Spain, taking into account the situation in her country. The also former military man alleged political persecution.

The United States also requests it for money laundering and criminal organization for having favored businessman Raúl Gorrín in a foreign currency exchange scheme that earned him millions of dollars.

Although Díaz has no defense from the Government, the international law expert Mariano de Alba believes that all extraditions open the possibility of knowing sensitive information.

This “will make it difficult, one: the evasion of US sanctions. And two: the links that the Government has been developing with allied countries, like Russia, like China, like Turkey, like Iran, ”said De Alba.


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