Cliver Alcala Cardones

(Photo: Instagram)

The retired Venezuelan army general surrendered in Columbia and is now being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment. He is charged as a co-conspirator of Nicolas Maduro in narco-terrorism. 

He has been an outspoken critic of the Venezuelan president for years but has now been charged with narco-terrorist conspiracy on Thursday. He is allegedly running the conspiracy alongside Nicolas Maduro, Diosdado Cabello who is a socialist party boss, and another retired general. 

The United States prosecutors said that the group sent 250 metric tons of cocaine annually to the country and turned Venezuela to a platform filled with violent cartels and Colombian rebels. 

Alcala is being flown on a charter plane to New York City from Barranquilla, Colombia after he waived his extradition hearing and agreed to cooperate and collaborate with the prosecutors of the US. He has been living in the coastal city since he fled from Venezuela in 2018 after the conspiracy to oust Maduro has been discovered. 

Alcala claims responsibility for weapons

After his indictment on Thursday, Alcala surprised many as he claims responsibility for the stockpile of US-made assault weapons and other military equipment that was seized on a highway in Columbia. He said it was the planned incursion into Venezuela to oust Maduro. 

Without any evidence at hand, Alcala claims that he worked with opposition leader Juan Guaido and an American adviser to buy the weapons. 

On a social media video, Alcala claims that they had everything ready but a leak coming from the opposition who wanted to work with Maduro prevented them from fulfilling their goal. 

Alcala's claim was seized by a socialist leader who accused the DEA of corroborating Alcala in assassinating him and other political leaders. 

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Based on the indictment, Alcala was then a trusted aide to President Hugo Chavez. He was given an additional task of coordinating drug shipments with corrupt elements of the Venezuelan military and guerillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. 

Before his surrender, Alcala published a video bidding farewell to his family. 

US offers reward for the arrest of Nicolas Maduro

The United States Department of Justice has announced that it has indicted Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and several key aides on charges of narcoterrorism.

The department accused them on Thursday of conspiring with Colombian rebels "to flood the United States with cocaine".

With its charges released to the public, State Secretary Mike Pompeo revealed that the State Department would grant up to $55 million in cash reward for information that leads to Maduro's and four of his members 'prosecution or arrests. The rewards, up to $15m for Maduro and up to $10m each for the others are being offered under the department's Narcotics Rewards Program, which has paid more than $130m in awards for information regarding some 75 drug traffickers since it was created in 1986.

"While holding key positions in the Maduro regime, these individuals violated the public trust by facilitating shipments of narcotics from Venezuela, including control over planes that leave from a Venezuelan air base, as well as control of drug routes through the ports in Venezuela," Pompeo said in a statement.