Spanish Government’s Inconsistent Explanations of Venezuela Vice President Visit
Spanish Minister José Luis Ábalos has offered at least five different versions of his meeting with the EU-sanctioned Chavista vice president
Spanish – The illegal trip to Spain by the usurping Chavista vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, reportedly cost the Venezuelan state some 400,000 euros. This visit also marks the first major scandal involving the Pedro Sánchez government as it allowed the Chavista to enter European territory clandestinely, thereby defying international sanctions.
According to the Spanish newspaper El País, Rodríguez left Madrid’s Barajas airport on a commercial flight to Doha (Qatar). The situation is riddled with anomalies because if this did happen, she would not have complied with the necessary protocol, her passport would not have been stamped, and she would still have been on another plane despite being barred from entering European territory.
The scandal surrounding the government of Pedro Sánchez implicates the Spanish Minister of Transport, José Luis Ábalos, who, so far, has offered different versions of the meeting with Delcy Rodríguez that reportedly lasted about 25 minutes.
“The travel ban does not prevent you from making a stopover as long as you do not enter the country,” Interior Ministry sources say. However, those sanctioned are banned from entering European Union (EU) territory, including its airspace, and cannot board aircraft or vessels under the jurisdiction of a member state, as stipulated in article 20 of the sanctions.
The EU’s coercive measure is a response to the regime’s “political repression” of the civilian population. And in its sixth article, on restrictions on admission, it states in the first point that “The Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territory.”
The Spanish Government’s versions
According to Mundiario, the police version states that Minister Ábalos allegedly went to Barajas airport in the early hours of last Monday morning to dissuade the Venezuelan vice president from entering Spanish territory since she is banned from entering the EU.
However, initially, Ábalos himself declared that he met Maduro’s vice president by chance when he went to “say hello” to a personal friend, the Minister of Tourism, Félix Plasencia. Everything indicates that Ábalos knew in advance about Rodríguez’s presence in Barajas. Likely, the meeting they had was not “accidental or coincidental.”
Ábalos reconoce que Delcy Rodríguez cambió de avión en Barajas, pero "no pisó suelo español".
¿La número dos de Maduro levita, tiene alas, la llevaron en volandas? Barajas es territorio nacional ¿cómo no pisó suelo español?
Nos toma por tontos. Basta de mentiras.
Ábalos Dimisión. pic.twitter.com/O8TxkPG92B
— Guaje Salvaje (@GuajeSalvaje) January 26, 2020
In the third version, the transport minister said that when he arrived at the airport to meet Plasencia, he received a call from the interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who asked him to convince Rodríguez not to get off the plane.
Despite orders not to enter Spanish territory, Delcy Rodríguez and others got off the plane and went to the private flight area, where there is a VIP room, and spent the night there. Later, they reportedly took the commercial flight to Qatar.
The Spanish Citizens’ Party announced that it would ask the People’s Party for an investigation committee in Congress so that the government can explain the meeting.
“We ask for Ábalos’ urgent summons, and we will extend it to the Popular Party to jointly present the proposal for an investigative commission to be developed in Congress,” Melisa Rodríguez, spokeswoman for the Citizens’ Management Committee, told the media on Saturday after the party’s General Council meeting.
According to international law expert Mariano de Alba, EU measures prohibit sanctioned persons from entering into or transiting through member countries. Any exception has to be notified in advance to the European Council. However, the Council declared that it places the responsibility for sanctioning those involved in violating EU sanctions with the government of Pedro Sánchez. The Spanish President, on the other hand, chose to back Ábalos by stating that he “avoided a diplomatic conflict.”
Money laundering investigation in Spain against Delcy
The fact that Delcy Rodríguez has not been arrested in Spain raises suspicions about the relations and complicity of the Spanish government, especially after it was revealed that the Chavista vice president is under investigation in Madrid for laundering and diverting funds from the state oil company PDVSA.
Besides the sanctions against the usurping vice-president, there is also an investigation for “fraud and embezzlement in Madrid’s 41st Court by Judge Juan Carlos Peinado.” “Rodríguez is accused of laundering and diverting funds from Petróleos de Venezuela SA to Spain via the United States, Portugal, and Andorra for her relatives and collaborators residing in Spain,” the Spanish daily said.
In April 2019, it was revealed that Rodríguez was implicated in the corruption scheme laundering 500 million euros in Spain.