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Narco, Terror, and Politics in Southwestern Europe (5/10)

Delcy Rodríguez

Narco, Terror, and Politics in Southwestern Europe (5/10)
Delcy Rodríguez (r), José Luis Ábalos (l), former Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda in Spain's Pedro Sánchez's Government
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Dramatis personae III: Delcy Rodríguez

The “Dear Gazelle” -as Spain’s former President Rodríguez Zapatero, a.k.a. ZP, Government’s Ambassador to Caracas Raúl Morodo used to address her in his letters- is for all intent and purposes Maduro’s number two person, and it seems that her father’s criminal career and how it ended has a considerable influence on her doings.

Delcy Rodríguez (Venezuela, 1969) is the daughter of Jorge Antonio Rodríguez, a guerrilla leader of the Revolutionary Left Movement and founder of Venezuela’s Socialist League, who, in 1976, kidnapped William Frank Niehous, an American executive, who used to be the head of the multinational corporate Owens-Illinois in Caracas, Venezuela.

Delcy’s father requested a ransom for Niehous’ freedom, which consisted of a combination of $3.5 million in cash, the distribution of food for the Venezuelan poor, and the publication of an advertising campaign in foreign press, paid by Owens-Illinois, with a statement made by Niehous accusing the company he was working for of corruption and meddling in Venezuela’s domestic politics.

Owens-Illinois paid the ransom and complied with all the kidnappers’ conditions.

However, Niehous was not released until three years, four months and two days later by accident – the rural police of a Venezuela remote area, while looking out for poachers, found him in a hut, in which he had been kept chained to a stick, and released him.

Jorge Rodriguez, Delcy’s father was eventually arrested and sent to prison, where he allegedly died tortured.

Years later, two of Niehous’ captors publicly reappeared as Hugo Chávez’s close collaborators – one of them was even appointed Minister of Education by Commander Chávez.

According to the Venezuelan and Spain-based journalist Roberto Mansilla, Delcy Rodríguez and her brother, Jorge Rodríguez Jr., became rich with Niehous’ ransom money, went to study at the Sorbonne University in Paris, socialized with the Marxist elites of the time, and Delcy proclaimed herself Leninist, Stalinist and devoted to Mao Zedong’s Chinese communism.

In Mansilla’s own words, Delcy Rodriguez’s life engine is her thirst for revenge: “Delcy does not hide her desires. She recently declared that the revolution she and her brother were starting was a revolution of revenge for what it was done to their father.”

On the other hand, Agustín Rodríguez, Vice President of Venezuelans in Spain Federation (FAVE), once said that Delcy is “vengeful and complicit in torture in our country.”

For his part, Alberto Isaac Pérez Levy, President of the Association of Venezuelans in Spain (VENESPA), claims that Delcy´s dark personality is linked to her past with her father: “she and her brother are children of the radical left of the 60s and 70s. Keep in mind that their father had an organization like ETA [acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, the Spanish terrorist organization]. Rodriguez grew up unscrupulous toward humanity.”

The progression of the political career of current Maduro’s Vice President was amazingly fast, always under the patronage and protection of her brother Jorge, a psychiatrist, and President of Venezuelan Parliament since the beginning of 2021.

The political merits of Delcy Rodríguez’s career have always been her loyalty and her fanaticism towards the Bolivarian project in Venezuela.

From the moment the European Union (EU) adopted Council Decision 2017/2074, of 13 November 2017, Delcy is on the list of Venezuelan’s Maduro regime’s leaders, who cannot be allowed to enter EU territory or transit zones within the EU.

Delcy Rodríguez’s illegal visit to Madrid

In the early morning hours of January 20th, 2020, Delcy Rodríguez landed at Madrid Barajas airport aboard a private plane and such an extraordinary event unfolded a considerable number of political and legal issues, which today are still unresolved in Spain.

With the intention of keeping the EU authorities ignorant of what was happening there, at the foot of Delcy’s jet staircase waiting for her was José Luis Ábalos, who, at that time, was serving as Pedro Sánchez’s socialist-communist coalition government’s Minister of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda.

Once the whole affair blew out to the public, everyone in Spain did indeed hear Pedro Sánchez during a Spanish Parliament’s question-time session clearly and publicly praising and congratulating Ábalos for his performance during the intense several hours of that morning.

Two years later, Pedro Sánchez’s Government’s former Vice President, Pablo Iglesias, the then leading figure of the Spanish Government’s communist party junior partner, in a recently published new book, Verdades a la cara. Recuerdos de los años salvajes, revealed hitherto unknown information about the arrival of Nicolás Maduro’s number two, Delcy Rodríguez, at Madrid Barajas airport.

Iglesias acknowledged that he had learned from Latin American contacts of his close political friends Alfredo Serrano and Enrique Santiago, the latter until recently used to serve as Secretary of State in the Spanish Government and still is the Secretary General of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE), that the Venezuelan Vice President, Delcy Rodríguez, would be travelling to Spain in an official plane of the Venezuelan regime.

Iglesias then informed Pedro Sánchez.

It was the typical thing that could end badly“, said Iglesias, who argued that the Spanish President told him not to worry.

When Sánchez received Iglesias’ warning, Sánchez reassured him.

He told me not to worry“, said Iglesias, adding his doubts about the Government’s operation.

I admit that we saw with a certain irony the mess that could be made with us as spectators. And, frankly, the way it was handled was not highly intelligent“.

According to this direct-witness account of the events, Pedro Sánchez did not only know about Delcy Rodríguez’s irregular arrival to Madrid, but he did not seem to have any remorse about it either.

In other words, the Government of Spain violated the extended EU Council Decision 2017/2074 and the EU Decision 2018/901 that expressly prohibit the entry of Delcy Rodríguez and twenty-four other Venezuelan leaders into EU territory.

Despite 11 consecutively fallacious, different, and contradictory versions of the affair that were given by the Spanish Government afterwards to try to sustain and justify such a gross violation of EU law, Professor Araceli Mangas Martín, Academic of Number of Spain’s Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, Professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the Complutense University of Madrid, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Elcano Royal Institute of International Relations, wrote in a leading Spanish newspaper in the days following that incident:

The territory of a State comprises the land surface – with its submerged extension, which is the continental shelf – also its maritime spaces of sovereignty (internal waters and territorial sea) and, above all, its vertical extension, the airspace. Since the Romans, whoever owns the land [author’s note: suelo, in the original Spanish text] owns the flight [author’s note: vuelo, in the original Spanish text]. Therefore, since Delcy Rodríguez’s plane crossed the Spanish air border, it stepped on Spanish territory from the air in its airspace dimension. Precisely, Council Regulation 2017/2063 – which develops the sanctions for illicit military and computer traffic with Venezuela – defines that the ‘territory of the Union’ [author’s note: Union as in EU] to which the prohibitions refer are ‘the territories of the Member States, including their airspace’. (…)

When referring to natural persons, Council Decision 2017/2074 of 13 November 2017 makes it explicit that sanctioned Venezuelans cannot be allowed to enter even transit zones. (…)

The Venezuelan vice president entered Spanish territory when crossing the airspace even if she had not pass-through border control. The Government of Spain therefore infringed the extended Decision 2017/2074 and Decision 2018/901 which expressly prohibits her from entering the EU. (…)

(It) was a deliberate violation of EU law by Spain.

The conclusions that Professor Mangas drew from that violation of European legislation by the Spanish government are devastating:

“(…) Spain’s foreign policy has been broken by the [author’s note: current] coalition government. It can be said in English or in Spanish: Spain is not back. (…)

It only announces something more serious than the breakdown of foreign policy: the breakdown of the rule of law. The political power is not willing to submit to the laws in Spain.

The departure of Delcy Rodríguez from Spain after her failed attempt to check-in in a Madrid’s five-star hotel was even more amazing than her landing.

That night at Madrid Barajas airport, the then minister Ábalos explained to Delcy Rodríguez that she could not stay in Madrid.

We now know that she had arrived at the invitation of former Spain’s Government President Rodríguez Zapatero, a.k.a. ZP, and that was, precisely, what Delcy tried to explain to Ábalos, although this information, too, was initially hidden from the public by Pedro Sánchez and his government.

Once Delcy Rodríguez realized that her original plans had to be changed, Venezuela’s Government’s Vice President instructed her companions to unload on the tarmac of Madrid Barajas airport forty exceptionally large suitcases, which were introduced into a Venezuelan Embassy in Madrid’s diplomatically plated van and were whisked away from the airport to a yet today unknown destination, without the police being allowed to search them.

What did those pieces of luggage contain?

Was it gold, money, or drugs? as this seems to be Venezuelan leaders’ and their emissaries’ usual practice when they travel abroad.

Madrid Barajas airport security cameras had recorded the entire sequence of events.

However, the Spanish judge in charge of this investigation closed the whole ‘Delcygate‘ case and authorised the destruction of the video tapes recorded by the airport surveillance cameras when the events took place.

In short, these tapes will never be exposed.

The next morning, Delcy Rodríguez departed from Madrid Barajas airport’s passenger terminal on a regular flight bound for Doha, Qatar and at no time she had to go through any passport or police control inside the airport before boarding*.


* “William F. Niehous, Survivor of Abduction in Venezuela, Dies at 82”, The New York Times, October 17, 2013; “Delcy Rodríguez: estalinista, hija de un secuestrador, vengativa, millonaria y estudiante en París”, Libremercado, January 28, 2020; “Álvaro Nieto: «De Plus Ultra y del Delcygate solo hemos visto la punta del iceberg»”, The Objective, February 2, 2022; Mangas Martín, Araceli: “Mentiras y fantasías entre Caracas y Madrid, El Mundo, February 19, 2020; “Delcy Rodríguez vino a Madrid para reunirse con Zapatero, ir al médico y de compras”, ABC, October 15, 2021; “ABC: Delcy Rodríguez viajó a España para reunirse con Zapatero, ir al médico y salir de compras”, El Nacional (Venezuela), October 15, 2021; “El nido secreto de Zapatero y Delcy Rodríguez en Madrid, a mil euros la noche: una suite palaciega en Chamberí”, Informalia, October 15, 2021; “Álvaro Nieto: «De Plus Ultra y del Delcygate solo hemos visto la punta del iceberg»”, The Objective, February 2, 2022; “Iglesias desvela ahora que supo del viaje de Delcy Rodríguez y que avisó a Pedro Sánchez”, The Objective, April 14, 2022; and “Delcygate: el juez autoriza la destrucción de las cintas de vídeo, que nunca fueron vistas”, Vozpopuli, April 27, 2022.

NB: All information and data about the facts and people in this article were taken from open and public sources, which are cited here. Any errors they may have made are not attributable to the author of this article, but to those of the publications from which they were taken. This series of articles was completed on July 29, 2022.


EconomíaEspañaMundoOtros temasUnión EuropeaYihadismo


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