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    Ex-Venezuelan Head of Military Intel Detained in Madrid at US Request - Police

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    MADRID (Sputnik) - The former head of the Venezuelan military intelligence and a member of the country's National Assembly, Hugo Carvajal, was arrested in Madrid on Friday at the request of the United States on drug trafficking charges, the Spanish National Police Corps told Sputnik.

    "Hugo Carvajal was arrested this afternoon in Madrid," the police said.

    Earlier in the day, Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda reported that Carvajal was arrested and would be extradited to the United States in the near future.

    Citing a unidentified senior administration official, Reuters has reported that Carvajal is expected to cooperate with US officials and provide information on Venezuela's ties to terror groups. The source indicated to the outlet that Carvajal has a "treasure trove" of information, and that he will be safer in the US.

    Carvajal was a trusted adviser to former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and served as a military intelligence chief in 2004-2011 and 2013-2014. Carvajal is blacklisted by the US Treasury Department due to allegations of drug trafficking and providing weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel movement.

    In 2014, Carvajal was detained at the request of the United States in Aruba, the Netherlands' island in the Caribbean, where he served as a Venezuelan consul general. However, shortly after, he was released and returned home. Carvajal has been a member of the National Assembly since 2016 and supports opposition leader Juan Guaido.

    READ MORE: IMF to Block $400 Million Worth of Venezuelan Funds Until ‘Gov't Recognition'

    The political crisis in Venezuela recently entered its third month. The turmoil began in January when US-backed Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president. Incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, supported by China and Russia, among others, accused Guaido of plotting to overthrow him with backing from Washington.

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