Spain hands over Hugo Chavez's nurse to the US

Spain has delivered this Thursday to the United States Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén, the nurse of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and former treasurer of the nation after being claimed by the US authorities for alleged conspiracy to commit money laundering and laundering of monetary instruments.

Spain hands over Hugo Chavez's nurse to the US

Spain has delivered this Thursday to the United States Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén, the nurse of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and former treasurer of the nation after being claimed by the US authorities for alleged conspiracy to commit money laundering and laundering of monetary instruments. Díaz Guillén, who had been arrested in Madrid in December 2020, was on provisional release. She and she had already obtained Spanish nationality.

The Criminal Chamber of the National High Court ratified last November the decision to deliver Díaz Guillén to the United States, persecuted by the Federal Court of the Southern District of Florida for crimes of money laundering and criminal organization in the context of a plot that would have had as a beneficiary the communication tycoon Raúl Gorrín.

As ABC learned, she would be being transferred on a flight to Miami.

The former head of the Venezuelan Treasury would be implicated in an illegal currency exchange business that would have reported millionaire profits for both her and her husband, who was Chávez's security chief, Adrián Velásquez. Both were charged in a case for money laundering in a Madrid court from the luxury home they own in a central Madrid neighborhood. However, it has not prevented his extradition from finally materializing. Her husband has not yet been handed over to the United States despite the fact that the National High Court considered in November that in the case of Chavez's former bodyguard all the necessary requirements to approve extradition are met. However, the resolution is not final and against it there is an appeal to be filed by Velázquez's defense before the Plenary of the National Court.

According to the extradition request, Díaz Guillén used bank accounts whose owners were fictitious companies and "disguised numerous bribe payments" that were for her benefit even though they were addressed to her husband. Everything, to hide the payments received in exchange for allowing Gorrín to carry out foreign currency exchanges for the Venezuelan Government and to ensure an undue advantage in acquiring the right to carry out said currency exchange transactions.

Guillén held a position of the highest economic responsibility in the country, the National Treasury Office of Venezuela, where he served between 2011 and 2013. From that office he managed a multimillion-dollar fund, Fonden, created to deposit the proceeds from oil and gas exports. that was never audited by the National Assembly –at that time under Chavista power–. From there, exchange transactions with foreign currency were manipulated for personalities related to the government at favorable rates in exchange for large bribes.

During those three years at the head of Fonden, Claudia Patricia would have amassed a fortune amounting to millions of dollars, which is why the Venezuelan Prosecutor's Office also claims her and accuses her of having received help from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to "shield" a undeclared fortune and the result of the theft of public money.

The AP agency revealed that the former nurse would have kept her fortune in gold in a secret chamber through a shell company established on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Díaz would have bought 250 gold bars, one kilo each, valued at more than 9.5 million dollars, according to Liechtenstein court records. Her plan was for her wealth to be stored in a private vault within Liechtenstein and made available to her and her son once he turned 18 years of age. But the investigations revealed years later that a part of those ingots would have been sold by a representative of Díaz and the money would have been deposited in a Swiss bank.


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