Spanish – José Luis Ábalos, the Spanish government’s minister of public works, violated international sanctions imposed by the European Union by meeting with Chavista Delcy Rodríguez, who is usurping the post of vice-president of Venezuela. The Spanish official admitted that there was a meeting between them even though he knew that Rodríguez is banned from entering the territory.
According to information from the Spanish press, the meeting was held at Barajas airport, inside the plane where the Venezuelan delegation was traveling. Although Delcy Rodríguez did not officially enter the European country, she violated the sanctions in complicity with the Spanish minister.
Ábalos reportedly admitted that he went to Barajas in a private capacity to greet his friend, the Minister of Tourism of Maduro, Félix Plasencia. The truth is that there, the minister met with the vice-president of the Venezuelan dictatorship, who then continued her trip to Turkey; however, he did not order her arrest or denounce her presence.
Members of the Spanish PSOE party told the newspaper, El Mundo, that there was direct contact between them, but that there was no meeting.
Likewise, Ábalos chose to make fun of the meeting and mockingly downplay its importance: “whether or not so-and-so met, whether or not I meet with someone from Venezuela, very important, fundamental issues for society? We are not going to get into that,” he said.
Ábalos: “Que si yo me reúno con uno de Venezuela o no… Importantísimo ¿eh? temas fundamentales para la sociedad. No vamos a entrar en eso. Ha llegado el momento de que no entremos en eso.”
— Partido Popular (@populares) January 24, 2020
We must remember that the usurping vice-president of Nicolás Maduro cannot enter Spain because she is subject to European Union sanctions that prevent her from entering the European territory of the 28 member states. They also include the freezing of any assets she may have in the EU.
They demand sanctions and subpoenas
The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, has asserted that “Sánchez must explain if his Minister of Public Works met with the Vice President of Maduro when the latter is prohibited from stepping on European soil because of her participation in the repression and corruption of the Venezuelan dictatorship. If it is confirmed, we will denounce this violation of EU rules.”
Datos del posible vuelo de Delcy Rodríguez a España habrían sido borrados, según el portavoz adjunto del Grupo Popular en el Congreso de España, José Ignacio Echániz (vía @tve_tve ) https://t.co/kZD2viwrqV pic.twitter.com/d53lptEanX
— NTN24 Venezuela (@NTN24ve) January 24, 2020
“If this news is confirmed, we would be facing a dire situation that would flagrantly violate the rules of the European Union,” said PP deputy spokesman in Congress José Ignacio Echániz.
Despite the scandal and what the violation of international sanctions would represent, European Commission spokespersons decided to distance themselves from whether or not there is a violation of the sanctions.
Según la normativa, medidas de la UE 🇪🇺 prohíben la entrada y tránsito de las personas sancionadas en los países miembros. Cualquier excepción tenía que ser notificada previamente al Consejo Europeo.
¿Se manifestarán autoridades de la UE o de otros países o harán la vista gorda?
— Mariano de Alba (@marianodealba) January 24, 2020
“The implementation of the sanctions is the responsibility of the Member States. We expect all states to comply with the sanctions,” said Virginie Battu-Henriksson, one of the spokespersons for the European External Action Service.
“The assessment of the violation of sanctions is the responsibility of the authorities of each Member State and is clearly indicated in the legal provisions. It is up to the Member State to evaluate,” he insisted.
“Community sources” confirmed to EFE that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the authority that must monitor compliance with the sanctions adopted at the European level and pointed out that there are no reasons for the Foreign Ministry not to review this case and that if it is determined that there has been a violation of the sanctions regime with the presence of Rodríguez in Spain, they must report it to the Council of the EU, the institution that represents all the Member States.”
However, it is safe to expect that the Spanish Government of Pedro Sánchez will not take any action. We must remember that although the Spanish government recognizes Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, Sánchez preferred not to receive the Venezuelan leader and left that responsibility to his foreign minister, Arancha González.
Meanwhile, his vice president, Pablo Iglesias, who has maintained a direct relationship with Chavismo to the point that he is allegedly involved in money laundering and corruption cases, prefers to refer to Guaidó as “opposition” and recognize Chavista usurper Luis Parra as the supposed president of the Venezuelan National Assembly.