CARACAS – Venezuela denounced on Thursday the “illegal and arbitrary” arrest in Aruba of a former head of military intelligence who was traveling on a diplomatic passport.
Gen. Hugo Carvajal was detained Wednesday night at the request of the U.S. government, according to 24 Ora, a newspaper in the Aruban capital of Oranjestad.
Located off the coast of South America, Aruba and the neighboring islands of Bonaire and Curacao together constitute a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“Venezuela firmly calls on the Kingdom of the Netherlands to rectify this unjust and improper action, and to instruct its authorities in the neighboring territory (Aruba) to proceed with the immediate release of Venezuelan diplomatic official Hugo Carvajal,” the Andean nation’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Carvajal’s arrest violates prevailing international law, specifically the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the ministry said.
Caracas “wants to avert” any deterioration in bilateral diplomatic, economic and trade ties as a consequence of the arrest, the foreign ministry said.
The U.S. government has accused Carvajal in the past of having aided leftist FARC guerrillas in Colombia, a charge denied by the general and the Venezuelan government.
Carvajal was a long-time confidant of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
USA v Hugo Carvajal Barrios Indictment (Sealed) 16 May 2013