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Officials fume as former Venezuelan general slips US grasp, is received as hero in Caracas

  • CORRECTION Aruba Venezuela Official Detained-1.jpg

    CORRECTS DATE TO 2014 Former Venezuelan general Hugo Carvajal arrives at the Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba, Sunday July 27, 2014 after being released by authorities. Aruba's government released Carvajal who was detained on U.S. drug charges when he arrived to serve as his country's consul on the Dutch Caribbean island, sending him home Sunday night and defusing a diplomatic fight with its neighbor.(AP Photo/Pedro Famous Diaz) (The Associated Press)

  • CORRECTION Aruba Venezuela Official Detained-2.jpg

    CORRECTS DATE TO 2014 Former Venezuelan general Hugo Carvajal arrives at the Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba, Sunday July 27, 2014 after being released by authorities. Carvajal was detained in Aruba on U.S. drug charges, released by the Dutch Caribbean island Sunday and sent home, authorities said Sunday.(AP Photo/Pedro Famous Diaz) (The Associated Press)

US officials are saying Venezuela may have used threats to obtain the freedom of a former general detained in Aruba at the request of the American government.

In a statement released Monday morning, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says there are credible reports that Venezuela threatened the governments of Aruba, the Netherlands and others to force the release of former military intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal.

Carvajal was arrested when he arrived to serve as Venezuela's consul on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. On Sunday, the Netherlands ruled that he was protected by diplomatic immunity.

Carvajal returned to Caracas Sunday night and received a hero's welcome at the convention of the national socialist party. President Nicolas Maduro invited him onstage and called his return a great satisfaction.