Hugo Carvajal, former director of the country’s military intelligence, lashed out at Mr Maduro in an open letter. Responding to a claim from the Venezuelan ruler that he was dismissed for gross misconduct, Mr Carvajal made several explosive claims about the President’s religious beliefs and financial conduct. A staunch ally of former President Hugo Chavez, the same reverence was certainly not applied to the new leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
He wrote: “The people should also know that your religious sacrifice rituals in Cuba were paid by your minister of finance, who on at least one occasion sent a briefcase with $500,000 in cash to Havana in a PDVSA plane.”
Mr Maduro was accused of performing Santeria rituals in Cuba while leaving ordinary citizens with desperate shortages back in Venezuela.
Santeria is a popular Cuban religion – literally meaning the “worship of saints” – that combines Roman Catholicism with elements of the Yoruba tradition.
Nicolas Maduro was accused of participating in Santiero rituals in Cuba
Venezuela have enjoyed warm relations with Cuba in the past
Mr Carvajal continued: “How dare you call yourself Christian when you follow any belief you come across?
“You are a devout Santero, follower of Sai Baba and who knows what other religion.
“I suppose that you must by some means justify all the atrocities you have committed against the Venezuelan people.”
Mr Maduro was raised as a Roman Catholic and claims to maintain his Christian beliefs – but some fear his relationship with Cuba is religious as well as political.
In addition to this, the former Chavez loyalist accused Mr Maduro of ordering illegal actions.
He added: “I left for refusing to comply with the craziness that came out of your empty head, for refusing to commit the crimes that you suggested.
“Do you remember, for example, what you suggested we do to businessman Domingo Goncalves?
The Santiero faith combines Roman Catholicism and Yoruba beliefs
Hugo Carvajal is a supporter of Juan Guaido
“You told me to arrest him without a court order and to later fabricate any plot to keep him detained, only because you had heard a rumour that he had financed the opposition.”
The former spy chief was recently arrested in Spain over drug charges and it is believed he holds valuable government secrets.
Though he remained in government until April, his support for opposition leader Juan Guaido and calls for the Venezuelan military to break ranks led to his expulsion.
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