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While the U.S. justice system charges dozens of officials from the regime of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro with money laundering and even drug trafficking, Spain lets them escape.
Facts show that the Spanish government headed by Pedro Sánchez and the European country’s justice system have become accomplices of the Venezuelan tyranny to the point that the sanctions imposed by the United States and the charges against them have been flouted.
On Wednesday, December 23rd, the Spanish Constitutional Court protected Chavez’s former vice minister, Nervis Villalobos, who has been accused of money laundering.
Villalobos has been detained in Spain and it was expected that he would be extradited to the U.S. to face charges against him; however, the U.S. request has not been successful.
In March, the government of Donald Trump accused 14 Venezuelan officials and former officials, among them the former vice minister of electric energy, Nervis Gerardo Villalobos Cárdenas. The U.S. government accuses him of illegal acts in the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
The request of the U.S. government was accepted in January 2019 and the transfer was expected to take place in six months, but in February of that same year the Audience denied the hand over.
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According to a complaint filed on August 23, 2017 in the Court of the Southern District of Texas, specifically in the Houston Division, Villalobos and other former Venezuelan officials coordinated the bribery scheme that allowed businessman Roberto Rincón, and his partner Abraham Shiera, to receive privileged information from internal PDVSA records, as well as to win contracts and obtain, before other businessmen, payments of debts acquired by the oil industry.
But Villalobos’ case is not the only one that has been dismissed by the Spanish justice system. On Wednesday, December 23rd, a judge of the Spanish National Court released Claudia Patricia Díaz, the former national treasurer of Venezuela and nurse of Hugo Chávez, and her husband, Adrián José Velásquez, who have been forced to appear every 15 days and have had their passports taken away.
The U.S. government accused Diaz and her husband of the crimes of “bribery and money laundering. Both were accused for their alleged participation in a “money laundering and currency exchange scheme” worth “billions of dollars”.
Thus, while the United States hopes to have in the hands of Justice these former officials of the regime of Hugo Chávez, the Spanish Justice decides to grant them freedom.
A particular case is that of Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal, who fled to Spain while the United States was awaiting his extradition.
In November 2019 the Spanish National Police confirmed that Hugo Armando Carvajal, former head of intelligence in Venezuela, disappeared shortly after a Spanish court approved a request for extradition to the United States on drug trafficking charges.
It was a “suspicious escape”, which showed Spain’s intentions to let him escape; as Spanish police arrived at Carvajal’s home in Madrid, four days after the court decision ordering his extradition to the U.S. became known.
That the Spanish Justice plays in favor of Nicolás Maduro’s regime has been so evident that in October 2019, the U.S. considered sanctioning Spain for the aid that Socialist Pedro Sánchez has maintained to the tyranny in Venezuela; especially after the possibility that the Central Bank of the European country is facilitating banking transactions with Chavism in spite of international sanctions.
Spain preferred Maduro to Trump
In spite of the warning of “devastating sanctions” from the U.S. to Spain, the energy multinational Repsol keeps Venezuela in its strategic plan 2021-2025; in fact, in September it bought 200,000 tons more oil from Maduro than from Trump.
Figures from the Corporation of Strategic Reserves of Oil Products (Cores) reveal that Spain bought 292,000 tons of crude oil from Venezuela in September, while the United States imported only 92,000 tons.
Washington has even gone so far as to demand that Repsol put an end to the payment system it maintains with the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA if it does not want to be subject to “devastating sanctions,” warned the special envoy for Venezuela and Iran, Elliott Abrams, in April, according to statements gathered by EFE.