Aruba releases Venezuelan ex-spy despite US calls to detain him

Hugo Carvajal BarriosBy IAN ALLEN |
The former director of Venezuela’s military intelligence, who had been arrested in Aruba following a request by the United States for his capture, has been released, sparking protests from Washington. On July 24, authorities in the Dutch-controlled Caribbean island announced the arrest of Hugo Carvajal Barrios, former director of Venezuela’s Dirección General de Inteligencia Militar (DGIM). Carvajal, a close associate of the country’s late president Hugo Chavez, was accused by the US Department of the Treasury in 2008 of weapons and drugs smuggling. According to the US government, Carvajal was personally involved in illegally providing weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a leftwing guerrilla group engaged in a decades-long insurgency war against the government of Colombia. It also accused the Venezuelan official of helping the FARC smuggle cocaine out of the country, in a bid to help them raise funds to support their insurgency against Colombian authorities. In January of this year, Caracas appointed Carvajal consul-general to Aruba. Aruban officials told reporters last week that, although Carvajal held a Venezuelan diplomatic passport, he had not yet received his official diplomatic accreditation from the Aruban authorities at the time of his arrest, and was therefore not an accredited diplomat. By the end of last week, it appeared almost certain that Carvajal would be extradited to the US. But the Dutch government suddenly reversed its position on Monday and decided to release Carvajal, who has reportedly been expelled from Aruba and declared persona non grata (unwanted person). Some observers, including Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Milos Alcalay, opined that the Dutch territory reversed its decision following “diplomatic threats” by Venezuela, “entailing severe economic relations”. It is believed that Caracas threatened Aruba with a possible suspension of all commercial flights to the island. Aruban tourism, which contributes 70 percent of the island’s gross domestic product, is heavily reliant on Venezuelan tourism. The island’s energy use is also almost completely reliant on Venezuela, which controls the two main oil refineries in Aruba. A spokesman for the US government said on Monday that Washington was “deeply disappointed” by Carvajal’s release and added that the White House was “concerned about alleged threats made by the Venezuelan government” against Holland and Aruba.

3 Responses to Aruba releases Venezuelan ex-spy despite US calls to detain him

  1. Money Jihad says:

    We’re “disappointed” and “made protests”? What are we actually going to do about it? Don’t we have any leverage over Aruba/Holland??

  2. johnnymorales says:

    Asking Milos Alcalay what happened is like asking Sean Hannity why President Obama does what he does.

    No matter how much someone might hate the president, only the stupidest could believe Sean would have a clue about his motivations.

    Good intelligence is based on finding out the most accurate representation of reality based on the knowable facts.

    Bad intelligence is asking someone like Milos Alcalay who is an outspoken opponent of the Venezuelan government and who would do and say anything that would help bring it down and his allies to power and to that end lie.

  3. Sadness says:

    Leverage trumps Law…The USA of today…wear it with pride.

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