(Updated to include New York indictment)
Last Wednesday, Aruba arrested Venezuelan general, former counterintelligence chief, Chávez coup participant, and man-about-town (in which “town” is the Venezuelan-Colombian border) on a US warrant for alleged drug smuggling. The Florida indictment is here and (UPDATE) here is the New York indictment. They are worth reading for its own sake, if you’re into that kind of thing. He was then freed after Venezuela raised a stink over diplomatic immunity, as Carvajal had entered Aruba to become consul in the island nation.
The affair leaves a heap of questions unanswered. Why did Venezuela name Carvajal to the post and then send him to the island, especially given Dutch opposition?
Did the US for some complicated reason support freeing Carvajal?
Was this all theatre, with something else entirely happening behind the scenes?
Is Carvajal now an informant? Was he before? El Nacional indicated that, and I also heard this rumor elsewhere.
Did he really travel to Aruba on N9GY, which belongs (indirectly) to Roberto Enrique Rincón and Jose Roberto Rincón of The Woodlands, Texas? (Columnist Nelson Bocaranda says he confirmed that fact, but I’ve been unable to do so. The Rincóns’ lawyer hasn’t responded to my e-mail asking detailed questions.) If so, what is the Rincóns’ connection to this guy? Did they really sell him out to save their skin, as one gossip rag claimed?
There are more questions, but those are enough for now. Since I am mostly interested in natural resources and not in Venezuelan politics per se, you might go check these other sites for more coverage: Here’s Daniel and Kepler and Raul. Also for some reason the Wall Street Journal has been pretty dominant in the English-language reporting on this. If you want to get around their paywall, for a few days anyway, find the stories you want, google them, and then click through from Google for free access. Like this one, which is temporarily free from here.