Spain: Police officers in Spain have Monday raided offices linked to the former Ambassador to Venezuela Raúl Morodo, who’s suspected of money laundering for Venezuela’s PDVSA oil giant.
According to el Pais newspaper, the operation was launched after Spanish anti-corruption bodies ordered it. In the aftermath of the raids, four people have been detained, including Raúl Morodo’s son, Alejo Morodo. Former Spanish official Raúl Morodo was appointed ambassador to Venezuela in July 2004.
The reports about the raids come after Venezuela’s ambassador to Egypt, Wilmer Omar Barrientos, said on May 17th, 2019 that the Latin American country has lost USD30 billion over the past three months due to the sanctions and economic blockade. According to Barrientos, since US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself the country’s interim president in January, US and European banks have frozen billions of dollars worth in the Venezuelan government funds. In addition, the United States has blocked the country’s oil assets and imposed sanctions on state-run oil company PDVSA.
Venezuela has long been suffering from an acute economic crisis amid protracted political turmoil and US economic sanctions. The US sanctions have been in effect since March 2015, when then-President Barack Obama imposed them on a number of Venezuelan officials over alleged human rights abuses and corruption. The restrictions have since been repeatedly expanded.