Havana Times-Feb 21, 2019
In-Depth-CNN-Feb 22, 2019
In-Depth-Miami Herald-Feb 22, 2019
|Deputy of the National Assembly for Monagas|
|Assumed office |
5 January 2016
|Consul General of Venezuela in Aruba|
January 2014 – April 2014
|Director of the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence|
April 2013 – January 2014
|Preceded by||Wilfredo Figueroa Chacín|
|Succeeded by||Iván Hernández Dala|
July 2004 – December 2011
|Succeeded by||Wilfredo Figueroa Chacín|
|Deputy Director of the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence|
Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios
1 April 1960
Puerto la Cruz, Anzoátegui, Venezuela
|Political party||United Socialist Party of Venezuela (former)|
|Nickname(s)||El Pollo ("The Chicken")|
Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios, nicknamed El Pollo ("The Chicken") (born 1960), is a Venezuelan diplomat and retired general. He was the head of the military intelligence in Venezuela during Hugo Chávez's government, from July 2004 to December 2011. Carvajal was arrested in Spain on 12 April 2019 based on an arrest warrant from the United States for 2011 drug trafficking charges; the U.S. asked Spain to extradite Carvajal.
Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios was born on April 1, 1960 in Viento Fresco, a village close to Caicara de Maturín, in state of Monagas (Eastern Llanos), or in Anzoátegui state. He finished his studies at the military academy in 1981. His sister, Wilma Carvajal, is the Mayor of the Cedeño Municipality.
Carvajal met Hugo Chávez in 1980 at the military academy of Caracas, where Chávez was his instructor. Carvajal took part in the 1992 coup attempt organised by Chávez against the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. He was detained together with Chávez and he was set free with a general amnesty that president Rafael Caldera introduced in 1994.
In September 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) accused Carvajal of helping Colombian guerrilla FARC in its drug trafficking activities by protecting them from drugs seizures, supplying arms and providing with Venezuelan official documents. He was placed on the list together with Henry Rangel Silva, Director of Venezuela's Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services, who later became Minister of Defense and Governor of Trujillo and with Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, former Minister of the Interior & Security.
Carvajal was appointed head of the National Official against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism in October 2012. In April 2013 he was appointed as the replacement for Wilfredo Figueroa Chacín as head of the Military Counterintelligence.
Venezuela appointed Carvajal as its consul in Aruba in January 2014, however he had not been officially accepted by the Dutch government. He was arrested in Aruba on 22 July 2014 on a U.S. arrest warrant. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro protested saying Carvajal had diplomatic immunity. As a protest Venezuela closed its airspace to planes coming from Aruba and Curaçao for several hours, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Maduro also threatened to slow down business at the Isla oil refinery on Curaçao. On July 28, he was released and flown back to Venezuela by private plane. Aruba officials declared that Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans had decided to recognize Carvajal's immunity. The Netherlands declared Carvajal persona non grata. In a public appearance Maduro stated: "We had a plan to escalate tension in Latin America".
One day after his release information was released that Venezuela had sent four military ships close to the shores of Aruba while Carvajal was detained. The United States Department of State said that it had evidence for severe threats by Venezuela against both Aruba and the Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had contact with Venezuela about the military ships, with Venezuela stating that they were returning from an exercise. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affair also stated that Carvajal was released after strictly judicial considerations based on international law.
Carvajal is also wanted by Colombia for the torture and murder of two agents.
On 21 February 2019, during the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Carvajal made a video in support of Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela and criticized Nicolás Maduro regime. Carvajal calls for Venezuelan military forces to break ranks and to allow the shipping of humanitarian aid to Venezuela.
Maduro expelled Carvajal from the Armed Forces on 4 April, degraded his Major General status, and accused him of treason.
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s High Court ruled on Monday that the government should refuse a request from the United States to extradite Venezuela’s former military intelligence chief.
Former general Hugo Carvajal was arrested on drug trafficking charges by Spanish police in April at the request of Washington, which says it believes he will share incriminating information about Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.
The court said the ex-spy chief would be freed from jail, where he has been held pending the extradition process, but did not say when he would be released.
The Spanish government has the final say on extraditions, but it tends to follow the court’s rulings.
Carvajal was an ally of Venezuela’s late Socialist leader Hugo Chavez and has turned against Maduro, who succeeded Chavez. He has denied accusations he helped Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels smuggle cocaine to the United States.
During the extradition hearing last week, he said Washington was fabricating the charges, raising doubts about whether he will cooperate in future with the United States.
The court ruled against the extradition despite the state prosecutor’s recommendation that the request be satisfied. It will explain its reasoning on Tuesday.
Reporting by Emma Pinedo, editing by Isla Binnie andf Timothy Heritage