It was nearly eight years ago that Venezuelan dictator or president for life Hugo Chavez addressed the United Nations delegates following a speech by President George W. Bush. During Chavez’s anti-Bush diatribe, he described the sitting US president as being the devil incarnate and exclaimed before the UN assembly: “¡Huele a azufre!” or “It smells of sulfur!” It was a reference to the Biblical lake of fire and sulfur into which the devil and his minions will one day be cast. Well, it turns out that the sulfur the late Venezuelan strongman thought was emanating from President Bush was actually coming from his own hand-picked & trusted Intelligence Chief Hugo Carvajal.
Carvajal was taken into custody in Aruba last week at the behest of the US State Department. It turns out that he has long been on the payroll of a major Columbian cocaine drug lord. Carvajal’s duties involved coordinating shipments of the opiate into New York State and Miami, Florida. Venezuela’s own drug interdiction contact with Interpol also came up as having received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of payments from the Columbian drug cartel. Once Carvajal was taken into custody, the State Department requested he be extradited to the United States to face three felony drug charges.
However, Venezuela strongly objected and Carvajal was turned over to them. Venezuelan authorities were much more interested in the symbolic pride battle that their former intelligence chief escaped justice in the United States than that they clean house and send a strong signal to other corrupt officials. Regardless, the United States has succeeded in exposing the existence of a drug cabal in Venezuela called the “Cartel of the Suns” which very existence had been contested by Venezuela in the past. Now, the question isn’t whether it exists, but how deeply it is entrenched in Venezuela. It has now been shown that it was more than government officials allowing drug shipments to pass through their nation, but rather an active coordination between the two countries. Indeed, it may legitimately be asked of the late dictator Hugo Chavez, “What did he know about the Cartel of the Suns, and when did he know it?”