Walid Makled, an alleged Venezuelan drug kingpin who is arrested in Colombia, said that more than 40 top military officers were linked with his businesses and even received payoffs
Alleged Venezuelan drug trafficker Walid Makled, who is arrested in Colombia pending extradition, said in a TV interview that top Venezuelan military officers and government officials were involved in his businesses.
Makled, whose extradition is sought by Venezuela and the United States, said that eight years ago he was supported by senior Venezuelan military commanders who allegedly helped him in his businesses. "I worked with Chávez's government for eight years (...) I worked in many businesses we had," he said.
Makled reported to US TV network Univisión in an interview from the prison of La Picota in Bogotá his links with executives at state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), deputies at the National Assembly and members of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
"I was awarded three multimillion contracts by the Venezuelan petrochemical industry. I made several multimillion payoffs. The last payment I made amounted to USD 7.5 million," he said.
He added that there were five Venezuelan deputies of the ruling party in his payroll. "I was granted whatever I needed," he said. Makled added that "there was a USD 2 million donation to Chávez's party."
The alleged drug kingpin said that he worked very closely with several Venezuelan military commanders. He said that the recipients of payoffs numbered 40 including generals, colonels and majors.
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."