Extesorera nacional de Venezuela, El Nacional

Bail denied to former Venezuelan national treasurer in US court

Former National Treasurer of Venezuela, El Nacional
Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén, former national treasurer of Venezuela and known as “Hugo Chávez’s nurse”. Photo: EFE/Javier Lizon

They denied the bail of Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén, Venezuelan national treasurer in the presidency of Hugo Chávez and extradited from Spain to the USfor which he will be in prison during the process, as determined this Friday by a federal court in Palm Beach, in southern Florida.

The court before which he appeared, for the first time since his arrival, accepted a request from the Prosecutor’s Office so that he does not enjoy the benefit of bail due to “flight risk”.

The arrest of the former Venezuelan treasurer is pursuant to an investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) into money laundering and foreign corruption law violations, which resulted in her indictment on December 16, 2020. .

Díaz Guillén, who appeared in court chained hand and foot and wearing dark blue clothing, answered questions through an interpreter during the hearing in which she was read the money laundering charges for which she was extradited.

Her husband, Adrián José Velásquez Figueroa, is accused of the same crimes.

Both were declared fugitives from US justice in April 2021, along with businessman Raúl Gorrín Belisario.

Last November, the Spanish National Court authorized the extradition to the US of Diaz Guillén.

What weighs on the former treasurer of Venezuela

The indictment was brought by the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for the charge of “conspiracy to commit money laundering” and two others for “money laundering” through banks in Miami.

The indictment alleges that Raúl Gorrín Belisario, 52, owner and president of the Venezuelan channel Globovisión, paid millions of dollars in bribes to two former Venezuelan national treasurers, Alejandro Andrade Cedeño and Claudia Díaz Guillén.

Gorrín, the indictment notes, “electronically transferred money for the benefit of Andrade and Diaz, including resources for private jets, yachts, houses, champion horses, high-end watches and a fashion line.”

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