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Former Chavez confidant dies in prison due to Covid-19 infection

Published October 13,2021

Former Venezuelan army chief and defence minister Raul Isaias Baduel, 66, has died in prison in connection with Covid-19, according to the government.

"We are sorry for the death of Raul Isaias Baduel, who died of cardiac and respiratory arrest as a result of Covid-19," Venezuelan General Attorney Tarek William Saab wrote on Twitter late Tuesday. "We offer our condolences to his family and friends."

Baduel, a former confidant of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, was sentenced to almost eight years in prison in 2010 for embezzlement and abuse of office.

A military court found him guilty of embezzling around 20 million dollars during his time in office.

After his release in 2015, he was imprisoned again for plotting against Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro.

In 2019, the Venezuelan government claimed to have prevented plots against the authoritarian head of state and a number of other high-ranking officials.

According to the report, the plan was to free Baduel from prison and declare him president.

Baduel was considered a hero of Chavez's "revolution" in 2002, helping to bring the left-wing nationalist back to power shortly after his overthrow.

But after his retirement in 2007, Baduel became a critic of Chavez.