Spanish – The Five Star Movement (M5S) is an Italian political party that calls itself a Europeanist and ecologist party. It was founded in 2009 by the actor and comedian Beppe Grillo along with Gianroberto Casaleggio. The five stars represent its fundamental pillars as a political movement: transport, connectivity, development, water, and the environment. But the interesting aspect of this political party is the way it is financed- through “small private donations and not through public funds.” A priori, there was nothing wrong with this fundraising approach, and it reflected very well on M5S. Or so it was believed until information about a donation of 3.9 million USD was leaked a year after the party’s foundation. This contribution was made by one of the bloodiest tyrannies of the past century: Chavismo. Spain’s ABC revealed this.
Chavismo’s hallmark is purchasing consciences through illicit funding at the international level, and Europe is no exception. Last month, El Confidencial revealed that Podemos, Spain’s co-governing party along with the PSOE, received funding from Venezuela and Iran through Iranian businessman Mahmoud Alizadeh Azimi. In 2019, it was disclosed how Chavismo financed the political party headed by Pablo Iglesias in Spain, and in February 2020, Rafael Correa was included in the equation as an intermediary between Podemos and the Chavista regime.
Chavismo’s illicit and corrupt money as a driver of the global left
What Chavismo did with Podemos and Delcygate was a mere ploy previously implemented in Italy with the Five Star Movement. According to the document revealed by the Spanish newspaper, Nicolás Maduro, who was then the foreign minister, and Tareck El Aissami, minister of the home affairs in 2010, had authorized the dispatch of a diplomatic suitcase containing 3.9 million USD to finance a “new leftist, revolutionary, and anti-capitalist movement in the Republic of Italy.”
A similar scenario occurred in Spain. The difference was that the briefcase was not sent to any consulate but was personally carried by Delcy Rodríguez, the vice president of the Nicolás Maduro regime. Moreover, there was no prior check at Barajas airport, and according to witnesses, Rodríguez’s passport was not even stamped.
A long list of parties, movements, governments, and politicians sympathetic to Chavismo have received money and funding from the regime. Pablo Iglesias in Spain, the Kirchners in Argentina, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Lula de Silva in Brazil, the Iranian regime, and the Cuban tyranny are some of the names that stand out. Now, according to ABC and the published document, the Five Star Movement can be added to this list.
The briefcase with the cash was sent to the Venezuelan consulate in Milan and was addressed to Gianroberto Casaleggio, one of the founders and promoters of the movement that today is the ruling party of the Italian government.
M5S denies accusations, the opposition attacks, and their allies “shut up”
M5S leader Vito Crimi denied any financial links with Chavismo, claiming that it is false and old news. He stated, “the alleged financing of the Five Star Movement (M5S) by Venezuela is simply false, ridiculous, and imaginary news. There is nothing more to say on the matter, except that in distant 2010, I remember that I was a candidate for the presidency of the region in Lombardy and then, as in the following years, what we did was an electoral campaign with very few resources and means, the result of small donations from Italian citizens.”
Gianroberto Casaleggio’s son, Davide Casaleggio, argued that this is “fake news that has already appeared several times; the last time was in 2016.” He added that “from denials, we will now move on to lawsuits.”
The opposition to the M5S, which is considered an anti-establishment party, points out that these ABC revelations clarify the Italian ruling party’s position on the Maduro regime.
“Thanks to this secret document published by ABC, we understand the Italian government’s attitude towards Venezuela and Maduro,” wrote Antonio Tajani, leader of the conservative Forza Italia party. He also added that he reached out to Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, “to find out who in Europe received illicit funds from the Venezuelan regime and for how long.”
Gracias a este documento secreto publicado por @abc_es entendemos la actitud del gobierno italiano sobre #Venezuela y #Maduro. Le presenté una pregunta urgente a @JosepBorrellF para averiguar quién en Europa y cuánto tiempo recibió fondos ilícitos del régimen venezolano. https://t.co/pix9afPFnt
— Antonio Tajani (@Antonio_Tajani) June 15, 2020
Meanwhile, the Italian Democratic Party, a progressive ally of the Five Star Movement, has chosen to distance themselves from the issue and take a diplomatic stance on it, saying they would not talk about “journalistic indiscretions while we are not sure of the truth,” according to their spokesman in the Chamber of Deputies, Graziano Delrio.
We should point out that the Movement founded by Grillo and Casaleggio is not going through its best political moment after obtaining the majority of the votes in the 2019 elections. There are many differences within the party, especially ideological ones since the movement has not yet taken a frontal and sincere approach to its political ideas. This forces each member to impose their own style of politics, thus allowing contradictions and ambiguity to flourish. This situation is easily exploited by other, more defined political forces, and will reflect in the ballot box if this continues.
Chavismo is a global threat
While we continue to discover how far the tentacles of Chavismo have spread, many Western countries, politicians, governments, and organizations still do not understand or gauge the threat posed by Chavismo.
For clarity, Chavismo is not just a political movement. It is an international criminal organization with links to terrorism, and its leaders run the Suns Cartel. It also has economic, political, and ideological relations with the regimes of Iran, China, Cuba, and Russia.
Chavismo has bought the conscience of movements across the world and is the driving force behind several leftist movements. These cases were already notorious in the regime, and more are being discovered in Europe. Recently, it was revealed that even the Black Lives Matter movement has links with Maduro.