Narcotrafficker in Colombian Custody Implicates 40 Chavista Generals, Dozens More in Drug Corruption; Alludes to Hezbollah ActivitiesIASW | Monday, April 4th, 2011 | 5 Comments »
A VENEZUELAN NARCOTRAFFICKER TELLS ALL IN UNIVISION INTERVIEW, IMPLICATING THE CHAVEZ REGIME AS A “NARCOSTATE.”>>>
Walid Makled makes the following six key points:
- The Hugo Chávez government was “100 percent” involved in narcotrafficking activities.
- He has six videos and other documentary evidence implicating “40 generals” and “ministers, congressmen, governors” of the regime of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in drug trafficking.
- Chávez confidantes military Commander-in-Chief Henry Rangel Silva and Intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal were on Makled’s illicit “payroll”.
- The Venezuelan military protects Hezbollah operations in Venezuela.
- Venezuela’s state-run set Makled up in shipping, warehousing, and merchandising contracts that he used for drug trafficking activities.
- Four to five airplanes left daily from Venezuelan airports (including at least once from the presidential runway) bearing cocaine for the Colombian FARC rebel group and the Venezuelan military, bound for Central America, Mexico, and the United States.
Informal Transaction of Univision article:
Walid Makled speaks about networks and connections with government officials of Hugo Chávez
In an exclusive interview with [April 3, 2011, Univision program] Aquí y Ahora, the accused drug trafficker Walid Makled, alias ‘El Turco’, 42, reveals the secrets of a narcotics distribution network with the alleged involvement of senior military officers and officials of the Venezuelan government in cooperation with terrorist groups.
In conversation with investigative journalist Casto Ocando, Makled reveals for the first time how networks produce and distribute cocaine from southern Venezuela, allegedly in close cooperation between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Army of Venezuela, which sends about 5 aircraft per day from the state of Apure to Honduras, and then to Mexico, with a final destination in the United States.
Makled, currently detained at Bogota and accused by the U.S. to lead a major drug trafficking organization in the world, speaks about how much he paid to senior generals of the government of Hugo Chavez in unprecedented joint operations.
The interview was conducted in the prison ‘La Picota’, on the outskirts of Bogotá, where ‘El Turco’ waits to be extradited to Venezuela or the United States.
Excerpts of the Interview [narration in brackets]
Casto Ocando: How did you manage to climb so high in the government of Venezuela, the government of Hugo Chavez?
Makled, Walid: I worked with the Chavez government for eight years and not four, as many claim.
CO: What type of work?
WM: Many things you understand?
CO: In the drug trade, for example?
WM: No, no, in many businesses that we had.
CO: You claim to have accumulated a fortune in excess of $1.2 billion … How did you do it and where is that money?
WM: When I speak of $1.2 billion dollars I am talking about all my business. [Among them, the airline Aeropostal, a national freight transportation, publishing, properties, yachts, a fleet of luxury vehicles stored in major ports and airports in Venezuela]. We were moving more than 14 thousand containers per month.
CO: Containers of what?
WM: All types of merchandise. I was awarded three contracts, warehousing, shipping and merchandising, three contracts signed by the petrochemical industry in Venezuela. The last payment was made nearly $4 billion. [One of the most profitable businesses in Makled was the distribution of urea, a fertilizer that is also used as precursor chemicals for cocaine production and the manufacture of explosives].
[Makled boasts of having rubbed shoulders with important people in business meetings and social events in Venezuela. According to him, his connections reached to the national assemblies and with Hugo Chávez’s party ... (He) in fact states that the entity (the Assembly) shared a partnership for $2 million dollars.]
CO: How many deputies were on the payroll?
CO: What kind of favors did you ask for?
WM: Anything that was needed.
[Makled also claims to have worked very closely with members of the Venezuelan military high command, who paid millions in exchange for business favors. "From major generals
CO: How often where they paid?
WM: There was a small payroll of $1 million dollars.
CO: You have mentioned the fact that you had more than 40 senior officials of the Venezuelan Armed Forces.
WM: There are 40 generals, but there are many more: there are colonels, there are more …
CO: How do you manage to recruit more than 40 generals to work?
WM: They were all my friends… well, my former friends, understand? … They were generals, ministers, congressmen and governors.
CO: Everyone knew what Makled was doing?
WM: Yeah, that’s not a secret.
CO: What was the process of recruiting a general?
WM: They recruited me.
[The U.S. government has denounced as 'drug lords' two active generals of the Chavez government: Henry Rangel Silva and Hugo Carvajal.]
CO: Do you know General Hugo Carvajal, Director of the Directorate of Military Intelligence, and Gen. Henry Rangel Silva? (commander of the Venezuelan armed forces)
WM: Well I’ll be honest, I don’t directly, but I know people close to him.
CO: What kind of relationship did you have?
WM: To give an example, I gave a weekly fee, weekly Bolivares (Venezuelan currency) 200 million, 100 million were for General Hugo Carvajal.
[Makled says he was circulating freely throughout the country bearing official credentials, including a National Guard.]
CO: How did you get these documents, did you pay for them?
WM: No, no, no. Remember that I practically belonged to them. And notice the little number 02 (showing the card). I came second after the General.
[According to Washington sources consulted by Aqui y Ahora, federal agencies have shown great interest on the information that Makled can provide on the drug trafficking networks in Venezuela.]
CO: You’ve said that Venezuela is a narcostate. What is the basis for saying that?
WM: In many ways, to give you an example, look at what’s happening in San Fernando de Apure. In San Fernando de Apure five or six planes are loaded on a daily basis with cocaine to Honduras, Honduras to Mexico and from Mexico to the United States.
CO: Is the government (of Venezuela) involved in this?
WM: One hundred percent.
CO: You’re saying that practically there is a network that transports drugs from southern Apure Venezuela to Central America with a series of planes.
WM: Yeah, we’re talking about four or five planes leaving Apure, between the FARC and the Venezuelan army, daily.
[According to the DEA, U.S. Drug Agency (sic), since 2005 Walid Makled bought cocaine from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and then transported it to America.]
CO: Did you have any relationship with the FARC?
WM: I will tell that to the American prosecutor.
CO: Did you have a relationship or connections with terrorist groups operating in Venezuela, and Hezbollah, for example?
WM: That’s also what I will say to the prosecutor.
CO: But we can say that there are operations?
WM: In Venezuela? Of course!
CO: Are there any training camps, there are fundraising efforts, what type?
WM: No, from what I understand is that they work in Venezuela. They make money and send it the Middle East. It’s no secret that in Venezuela, in San Fernando de Apure, they run cocaine laboratories, as in Maracaibo, in Venezuela, which are guarded by the Venezuelan government itself.
[According to an indictment of the Federal Court in the Southern District of New York, Makled is responsible for sending a plane loaded with 128 suitcases full of cocaine, which was confiscated in Campeche, Mexico, in 2006.]
WM: I am being accused that of taking a DC-9 from the International Airport Simón Bolívar Maiquetía, of loading it with five and a half tons of cocaine, there was a mechanical failure and the plane ended up in Mexico City, and that the aircraft took off from ramp four in Venezuela, which is used by the presidential aircraft of that country.
CO: You said, regarding this case, that you received help from senior government officials in Venezuela.
WM: I have said this: that if I took that plane, I could not have gotten one, I could not be loaded it by myself, I could not have controlled the control tower. Imagine the international airport, the country’s entry into Venezuela.
CO: The government says that everything you say is slander and lies…
WM: I have substantial evidence? How come I was given access to the most important port in
Venezuela? How come I was the granted access to an international airport?
CO: Have you received specific threats from Venezuela since you were captured?
WM: That’s why I’m doing all these complaints. If something does happen … So that all the world knows what is happening.
[While in his cell, Makled treasures some of the documents which he intends to use to proof his accusations, and he guards more evidence closely. Apart from the evidence of deposits and checks, Makled claims to have "extremely incriminating" videos.]
CO: And this video showing a general … receiving money? Like what happened in Peru with the “Vladivideos’.
WM: That’s nothing. Those of (convicted Peruvian security official) Montesinos…
CO: How many videos do you have?
WM: In total there are six.
CO: You mentioned that you have sufficient evidence to cause the downfall of the Chavez government. What do you mean?
WM: Many things. And there is hard evidence.