The former Minister of Energy and former president of the state oil company PDVSA Rafael Ramírez today denied having family ties with José Ramón Sánchez Rodríguez and Luis Mariano Rodríguez Cabello, whose extradition Venezuela has requested from Spain for alleged corruption offenses.
"These two gentlemen, José Ramón Sánchez Rodríguez and Luis Rodríguez Cabello are not my cousins, I do not even know them about treatment or any kind of relationship at all," Ramírez told Efe in a telephone interview.
The ex-Minister of Energy and former representative of Venezuela to the UN is currently in exile, although his whereabouts are unknown, and he claims to be a persecuted Nicolás Maduro government, while pointing out that there is a supposed coordinated campaign from the Venezuelan government to damage his name.
In a statement, Ramírez said he had been "warned" that Maduro would be "coordinating actions with the new Government of Spain, to fulfill his persecution and hate agenda" against him.
"All these actions are the product of the secret negotiations conducted by the officials that Maduro has sent to Madrid to extradite political persecuted between the two countries," he said in the statement.
Ismael Oliver, a lawyer in Spain for Sánchez Rodríguez and Rodríguez Cabello, told Efe on Sunday that his clients are cousins of the former president of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), which, according to Ramírez, "is totally false."
A Spanish court held a hearing on Wednesday on the extradition process of Sánchez Rodríguez, but the appearance before the Audiencia Nacional de España of Rodríguez Cabello has not yet been established.
The Spanish prosecutor has already shown in favor of extraditing Venezuela to these two Venezuelans.
According to Oliver, the two turned themselves in at a police station in Madrid when they were requesting political asylum in Spain and when they learned that Venezuela had issued an arrest warrant against them.
Both are accused by their country of passive corruption, influence peddling, money laundering and criminal association for having contributed to the deviation of millions of euros from PDVSA, a case that is being investigated in the South American country and also in Andorra, where some of those involved They laundered the money through the Andorran Public Bank (BPA).
Ramírez criticized the Spanish lawyer of the two Venezuelans, who said he "tries to use my name to say then that his clients are victims of a political persecution against Ramírez and nothing to do, nor do I know these people nor know what trouble they are in. stuck. "
The former president of PDVSA said he is the first cousin of Diego Salazar, who was detained almost a year ago in Venezuela and held in the dungeons of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin) for being linked to the BPA case, where he allegedly had nearly 200 million Dollars.