CARACAS, Venezuela — A former intelligence chief in Venezuela who is one of the government’s most prominent figures turned against President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday, calling him a dictator with a corrupt inner circle that has engaged in drug trafficking and courted the militant group Hezbollah.
In interviews with The New York Times, the former intelligence chief, Hugo Carvajal, 58, who is a congressman in the governing Socialist Party, urged the military to break with the president ahead of a showdown with the opposition on Saturday over Mr. Maduro’s blockade of aid shipments on the country’s borders.
“It has been more than enough,” Mr. Carvajal said in a statement, which was also released in a video online on Thursday and addressed to Mr. Maduro. “You have killed hundreds of young people in the streets for trying to claim the rights you stole. This without even counting the dead for lack of medicines and security.”
“To the generals,” he added, “how is it that having the power to allow the entry of international humanitarian aid to our country to save lives, you would decide not to? Would you be so inhuman? So hypnotized?”