Spanish – The Chavista regime and Iran used the HispanTV television channel to inject funds into Podemos, the party of the socialist Pablo Iglesias.
A report in El Confidencial revealed that a former high-ranking Chavista official, who now collaborates with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, provided evidence that Iran and Venezuela financed Pablo Iglesias through the channel of Iranian businessman Mahmoud Alizadeh Azimi.
“The party is said to have received around five million euros from the Tehran regime through the various television production companies controlled in Spain by Iranian businessman Alizadeh Azimi, who is responsible for broadcasting HispanTV on national territory. The money from the Islamic regime was allegedly transferred to Podemos by inflating the amounts that the party leaders invoiced to Alizadeh Azimi’s companies for the production of different television programs, among them, the debate and interview program ‘Fort Apache,’ presented and directed by Pablo Iglesias himself,” the report says.
According to El Confidencial, the irregular funding of Podemos was agreed between the Chavista regime and Tehran following “the need of both countries to have allied political forces in the heart of Europe to break the blockade imposed by the leading Western powers.”
In November 2017, Enrique Riobóo, a former collaborator of Pablo Iglesias, told the Spanish Senate that the main members of Podemos “had their pockets full of corrupt money from Iran and Venezuela-” money with which they also tried to buy Channel 33.
Riobóo told the Senate that Iglesias and Juan Carlos Monedero financed the Podemos political campaign and that both Iran and Venezuela were sometimes charged in cash with 500-euro notes and other times through bank transfers.
Riobóo, the owner of the television channel Canal 33, explained that both Iglesias and Monedero offered to buy the television channel, the license for which was valued at 1.2 million euros.
He said that while Monedero “advised” Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Iglesias was in charge of obtaining the financing that allowed them to found Podemos, through an “important sponsorship with the new channel in Spain, HispanTV, with Iranian capital.
More illicit financing
This is not the first time that possible illicit financing from Venezuela to support the Podemos party has been revealed. In 2014, Ok Diario published an investigation that reveals that the Venezuelan government paid Pablo Iglesias 272,325 USD with state money.
According to the Spanish publication, Iglesias received this amount in dollars in his bank account in the tax haven of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Caribbean islands), under the guise of payment for alleged “social development consultancy” in Venezuela. The payment was made two months after the foundation of the Podemos party in Spain.
In 2016, Rafael Isea, the former finance minister of Venezuela, told Spain’s Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) that former president Hugo Chávez paid seven million euros (7.6 million USD) to the Podemos Foundation.
Isea, who was a minister in the government of Hugo Chávez, ratified before UDEF agents the veracity of a document in which the former president approved allocating this money to create supposed “political forces and social movements” in the European country to bring about “political changes in Spain that are akin to the Bolivarian government.”