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 (Image: GETTY)
Venezuela have enjoyed warm relations with Cuba in the past