The drug kingpin Walid Makled, currently incarcerated in Colombia, might have knowledge about the FARC and Hezbollah operating in Venezuela
In a television interview from La Picota prison in Bogota, jailed Venezuelan drug trafficker Makled, alias “El Arabe,” said he will only speak to United States investigators about the alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking by Venezuela’s political elite, as well as the possibility that terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and the FARC are operating in Venezuela.
When asked by Univision reporter, Casto Ocando, if he had any relation to the FARC, Makled responded, “That is what I would say to the American prosecutor.”
He was then asked if he had maintained relationships with terrorist organizations that operate in Venezuela such as Hezbollah to which the Venezuelan of Syrian decent responded, “This is also what I would say to the American prosecutor.”
“But we could say that there are operations in Venezuela?” asked the interviewer. “In Venezuela? Of course!” responded the kingpin.
“That which I understand is that they work in Venezuela. [Hezbollah] make money and all of that money they send to the Middle East,” he described.
Makled is accused by the DEA of cooperating with the FARC to distribute cocaine to the United States and has admitted himself to having connections with Venezuela’s political and military elite. He says he will only divulge information on these connections to U.S. investigators after he is extradited to the United States.
He is wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges and in his home country for drugs and the murder of a journalist and a Colombian narco-trafficker.
Last month, Makled’s extradition to Venezuela was authorized by Colombia’s Supreme Court. However, a final decision on the matter is now pending the approval of President Juan Manuel Santos. It has become a particularly contentious issue, with President Barack Obama stating last year that should a final decision be taken in favor of Venezuela, it would be a “grave error.”
U.S. officials fear that Makled will be silenced if he is sent back to Venezuela and investigators could miss an opportunity to break up a very powerful drug trafficking nexus.
When asked if he has received any concrete threats from Venezuela while incarcerated in Colombia the soon to be extradited drug trafficker said, “For that reason I am making these announcements. If something comes to pass … So that the whole world knows what is happening.”