Revelations are still coming out about Chavista Delcy Rodríguez’s trip to Spain, where she faces European Union sanctions. Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez’s government, issued orders to help Nicolás Maduro’s second in command with whatever “she may need.”
An article in the newspaper Vozpópuli reported that the Spanish Transport Minister, José Luis Ábalos, who was in charge of meeting with Delcy Rodríguez to help violate European Union sanctions, spent “the whole morning” with the Chavista official in a room rented by the company Sky Valet until the Spanish police accompanied her on a commercial flight to Doha, Qatar.
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 likely didn’t comply with the necessary protocol, didn’t have her passport stamped, and was still on another plane despite being barred from entering European territory.
The official versions have been changing as new details about Delcy’s trip, and the violation of EU sanctions have come to light. According to the Spanish Transport Minister, Jose Ábalos, the Chavista vice president did not set foot on Spanish soil, and their meeting lasted 25 minutes. However, it has been revealed that she did get off the plane and that the meeting lasted at least an hour and a half.
The most critical aspect of the case is that Delcy Rodríguez faces European Union sanctions and is under investigation in Spain for alleged corruption and money laundering. Yet, the Spanish government and the police shielded her.
“There was a large police presence around the VIP room that forced us to occupy the adjacent space; the police never stamped the passports of the members of the Venezuelan delegation,” Vozpópuli said.
Sanctions and protocols flouted
The newspaper also reported that the Spanish Foreign Ministry offered new details about Delcy Rodríguez’s arrival in Spain, revealing that Pedro Sánchez’s government learned about the Chavista official’s trip when she had about four hours left on her flight and was not yet on European soil. However, they did not prevent her from continuing her tour.
According to the Spanish newspaper OK Diario, Rodríguez passed passport control on her way to the VIP room without the police officially noting her presence.
The newspaper points out that to get to the VIP room, the entourage that included Delcy “went through passport control where the rest presented their documentation and recorded their entry.” Still, Maduro’s vice president “was not officially recorded.”
“This is a serious irregularity. Firstly, the discussion about what is Spanish territory and what is international territory is even more aggravated when we are referring to the passport control. Since Delcy appears to have crossed a passport control, it seems obvious that this location has to be treated as Spanish territory and, therefore, the Venezuelan vice president sanctioned by the EU should never have been able to reach this point. Because Spain has to comply with the sanctions imposed by the EU”, the newspaper points out.
“The Venezuelan vice president could only stay on the plane, be in the terminal, or be sent to the passenger refusal zone as her entry into Spain was prohibited. That is to say: she could not go, under any circumstances, to an area considered as Spain. And that precisely was what caused the initial meeting to take place on the same plane. Nevertheless, she did cross over to a room beyond a checkpoint. And without officially recording her presence,” the report reiterates.
Spanish police threaten to reveal “more information.”
As the days go by, it becomes clear who was involved in the Chavista vice president’s trip, including the Spanish police, who were aware of Delcy Rodríguez’s arrival, but they stood idly by, apparently following orders from the Minister of Transport.
On Wednesday, January 29, the website Periodista Digital revealed that the National Police “is indignant toward the government of Pedro Sánchez” for supposedly changing the version of events.
According to the news website, “José Luis Ábalos went to Madrid airport when Delcy Rodríguez notified that she would be arrested.” Periodista Digital also reports that it was Ábalos himself who prevented the operation from taking place.
“We were ready, and we wanted to get her. It was them [the politicians] who pulled us back and ordered us not to move a finger,” police sources told Periodista Digital. The police sources threatened to reveal more information “if they are blamed.”
“If we are blamed for what happened at dawn, much more information will come to light. We are not the city police, for heaven’s sake. We were willing to do the right thing,” he says.
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.