On Thursday, March 26, Attorney General William Barr announced the U.S. government’s decision to file charges and seek rewards for several high-ranking officials of the Chavista regime, including Nicolás Maduro himself, his second in command, Diosdado Cabello, and former intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal. Carvajal is in Spain. He was arrested, and although there is a request for his extradition to the United States, he managed to escape last year and is currently on the run. Pedro Sánchez’s government knows where he is and is protecting him because of his relations with Spanish intelligence.
The PanAm Post learned from two sources in Washington DC that the Sánchez government allowed Hugo Carvajal to escape in November of last year and has hindered his arrest to prevent his extradition to the United States. The reason: Carvajal, for many years, managed to weave a close relationship with officials at the National Intelligence Center to cover up the drug trafficking route that led to Spain’s Galicia region.
Hugo Carvajal was director of Venezuelan intelligence from 2004 to 2014 during the Hugo Chávez administration and the first year of the Maduro government. Meanwhile, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who governed Spain from 2004 to 2011, was the liaison between the National Intelligence Center and the National Police Force, led by then-Commissioner Florencio San Agapito.
San Agapito and Carvajal met in Caracas in 2007 at the Eurobuilding hotel. The police Commissioner was a man close to Cuba because of his work in the disbanded Spanish monopoly Tabacalaera S.A., which bought all the products from the Castros. There, he worked with César Alierta, who later brought him to Telefónica as head of security until 2016, when he was charged with a case of laundering. He managed to settle the case after paying a fine of 500,000 euros. San Agapito was replaced at Telefónica by Colonel Miguel Ángel Sánchez Venancio, who had been third in command at the National Intelligence Center. According to sources, Sánchez Venancio, a controversial man, was the liaison between San Agapito and the National Intelligence Center.
Another connection between Carvajal and San Agapito in Spain was the then Venezuelan consul general in Madrid, Gladys Gutiérrez, who later became head of the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice. Fernando Ticera, Gutiérrez’s husband and a Spanish citizen, “controlled the relations and was the vehicle between Juan Carlos Monedero and Pablo Iglesias,” according to the source.
San Agapito and Carvajal managed to weave a network that covered up drug trafficking routes, which left the state of Sucre in Venezuela, passed through Suriname, and ended up in Galicia. The U.S. government has specified that money from this network has financed part of the Spanish Podemos party and the recent operations of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in Venezuela, according to information provided by one of the sources to the PanAm Post.
The then Spanish ambassador to Venezuela, Raúl Morodo, was one of the sponsors of the operations just before he left office. Morodo was recently involved in a million-dollar corruption and scamming scandal surrounding PDVSA. Specifically, the Spanish National Court was investigating the payment of bribes of at least four million euros to Raúl Morodo’s son, Alejo. Morodo was also part of the network of Carvajal and San Agapito.
It is also important to note that, according to political scientist Juan Carlos Monedero himself, he advised the government of Hugo Chávez between 2004 and 2013. A few months after he left, he founded Podemos together with Pablo Iglesias.
On February 22 this year, President Pedro Sánchez enforced the law regulating the National Intelligence Center to include the head of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, in the Government’s Delegate Commission that controls the country’s intelligence affairs. “The leader of Podemos will now have access to know and control all state secrets,” reads the newspaper, El Mundo.
A few weeks later, amid the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Pedro Sánchez took advantage of a decree aimed at combating the effects of the virus on the economy to introduce a “way that safeguards the presence of Pablo Iglesias in the commission that controls the National Intelligence Center.”
But Iglesias, whose party has been financed in part by Carvajal’s network, is not the only one with influence on the National Intelligence Center today. According to sources at the PanAm Post, Florencio San Agapito, who is an important figure in Zapaterismo, also has a strong influence on Spanish intelligence and is the one protecting Hugo Carvajal.
After the U.S. government announced the charges and reward for Carvajal, the DEA notified Spain of the exact location of the former Venezuelan intelligence chief. However, Spanish authorities have not arrested him.