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Venezuelan ruler Nicolás Maduro spent thousands of dollars of state funds on Santería rituals carried out in Cuba, said the former director of the South American country’s military intelligence, Hugo Carvajal.
The former head of the Military Counter-Intelligence Directorate (DGCIM), a close ally to late President Hugo Chávez who later broke away from the regime, also accused Maduro of falsely portraying himself as a devout Christian.
“How dare you call yourself Christian when you follow any belief you come across? You are a devout Santero, follower of Sai Baba and who knows what other religion. I suppose that you must by some means justify... all the atrocities you have committed against the Venezuelan people,” Carvajal stated in an open letter to Maduro posted on Twitter.
“The people should know that your Santería Godfather is [former Minister] Carlos Osorio [...] They should also know that your religious sacrifice rituals in Cuba were paid by your minister of finance, who on at least one occasion sent a briefcase with $500,000 in cash to Havana in a PDVSA plane,” Carvajal wrote.
The former DGCIM chief, known in Venezuela as “El Pollo” (The Chicken) Carvajal, issued the statement in response to a recent Maduro interview, where he said that he had fired Carvajal for gross misconduct.
After mocking Maduro, whom he said believes that birds are human reincarnations that can talk to people, Carvajal denied that he had been fired. On the contrary, he said, claiming that Maduro had asked him to return to the DGCIM’s helm.
Carvajal also wrote that the only misconduct he can be charged with was refusing to follow illegal orders.
“For a president like you, yes, I did have an ill-fitted behavior [...] I left for refusing to comply with the craziness that came out of your empty head, for refusing to commit the crimes that you suggested and for never allowing the entry of Cubans at the DGCIM,” he said.
“Do you remember, for example, what you suggested we do to businessman Domingo Goncalves? You told me to arrest him without a court order and to later fabricate any plot to keep him detained, only because you had heard a rumor that he had financed the opposition, “ Carvajal wrote.
The former spy chief is currently in Spain battling an extradition request from the United States on drug charges. Having spent more than a decade heading one of Chávez’s main intelligence agencies, Carvajal is believed to hold some of the most damaging secrets of the Venezuelan regime.