Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez named a former military intelligence officer sanctioned by the U.S. for helping traffic drugs as a deputy interior minister, the second such appointment this year.
Hugo Carvajal, who in 2008 had his U.S. assets frozen after the U.S. Treasury Department said he assisted narcotics trafficking by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, will become head of the interior ministry’s criminal investigation system. Carvajal was director of Venezuela’s Military Intelligence Directorate until December 2011.
In January, Chavez named General Henry Rangel Silva as defense minister. Rangel, who in a 2010 interview with Caracas- based Ultimas Noticias said the armed forces are “married” to Chavez’s revolution, is also accused by the Treasury Department of aiding the FARC, as the Colombian rebel group is known, to smuggle cocaine.
Chavez last month also promoted Carlos Alcala Cordones to Commander General of the Army. Alcala Cordones is the brother of General Cliver Alcala Cordones, who the Treasury Department in 2011 alleged provided training and weapons to the FARC.
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