1011 GMT June 30, 2022
The stunning accusation came in a court filing late Friday by attorneys for Cliver Alcala seeking to throw out narcoterrorist charges filed nearly two years ago by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, AP reported.
Alcala’s attorneys said in a November 2021 letter to prosecutors that efforts to overthrow Maduro’s government have been well known to the United States government. The attorneys said his opposition to the government and his efforts to overthrow it were reported to the highest levels of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Council, and the Department of the Treasury.
The court records raise fresh questions about what former U.S. president Donald Trump administration knew about the failed plot to oust Maduro.
Alcala has been an outspoken critic of Maduro almost since he took office in 2013 following the death of Hugo Chavez.
While the attorneys provided no details about what the U.S. government may have known about Alcala’s coup plotting, they said they believe his activities “were communicated at the highest levels of a number of U.S. government agencies” including the CIA, Treasury and Justice departments, the NSC, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
To that end, they are seeking documents and information, much of it classified, regarding communications between U.S. officials and members of Venezuela’s opposition about Alcala. Those U.S. officials include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Attorney General William Barr as well as senior officials at the White House and unnamed CIA operatives in Colombia.
The CIA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent Friday night.
The U.S. has always denied any involvement in violent attempts to overthrow Maduro. However, Pompeo’s cryptic statement that the U.S. had no “direct involvement” in Operation Gedeon left some observers wondering what the U.S. may have known about the plot in a region where the CIA has a long history of coup-plotting during the Cold War.