Spain’s transport minister has admitted that he met with the vice president of Venezuela, who is on the EU sanctions list.
In Spain, a scandal broke over the information about the secret meeting of Spanish Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos with the Vice President of Venezuela Desi Rodriguez, who is on the European sanctions list. This was announced on Wednesday, January 29, DW reports.
The meeting, the information about which was reported to the media, allegedly took place on the night of Monday, January 20, at the capital’s Barajas airport.
It is noted that Rodriguez is on the list of 11 senior figures of the Venezuelan regime, which are subject to EU sanctions. They are accused of human rights violations and suppression of civil liberties in Venezuela. In accordance with the EU decision adopted in 2017, member states should not accept persons from the sanctions list on their territory, and their officials should maintain contacts with the Venezuelans listed in it.
The Spanish parliamentary opposition demanded to investigate the meeting in Barajas and to remove Abalos from office – for gross violation of the norms of pan-European foreign policy.
The situation, according to political analysts, is complicated by the fact that Abalos is not just one of 23 members of the cabinet headed by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (SPD). He largely determines the course of the government, being a confidant of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
As for Abalos himself, he initially denied meeting and negotiating with Rodriguez, who was in Spain for at least 8 hours, claiming that he had gone to the airport at night to communicate with an “old friend”. However, then the minister was forced to admit the fact of the conversation, although he did not disclose its contents.
The oil in the fire of the scandal has added to the refusal of Prime Minister Sanchez to accept the leader of the Venezuelan opposition and the speaker of the parliament Juan Guaydo, who in recent days toured Europe, where he had numerous summits.