Friday, July 25, 2014

The Amerícas: Venezuela's Former Head of Military Intelligence Arrested in Aruba

According to The Latin American Tribune, Venezuela denounced on Thursday (July 24) 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 (July 23) at the request of the US 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 the country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

COMMENT: Even though I have nothing but disdain for the Venezuelan government of the late Hugo Chávez and under the current Socialist government of Nicolás Maduro, the arrest of Carvajal strikes me  as being very characteristic of banana republics, which I had hoped  that Washington had not sunk to.
That being said I fully understand the concept of extra-territorial jurisdiction which essentially means that Venezuela could strike back in similar fashion if it chose to do so.

To wit: Few judges question how defendants end up in their courts, only that they are present to face justice.

Whether now or later, Washington hardly will not hear the last of this controversy.

I would have to acknowledge that if Carvajal  was indeed traveling on a valid Venezuelan diplomatic passport, Caracas may have a genuine complaint, although it appears that Washington may have opened a "pissing contest with a skunk."

“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 US 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 the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.