Issuance of diplomatic documents and privileges
EMILI J. BLASCO
The use of the consulates and embassies of Venezuela in the Middle East to provide official documentation to radical elements was already evident in the case of Ghazi Nassereddine, who was a counselor at the Embassy of Damascus and who was also involved in Beirut’s. Nassereddine, a Lebanese-Venezuelan promoted by Maduro when he was the foreign minister, was included in 2015 on the FBI's special list.
Among the allegations that are being revealed by Misael López Soto, a counselor at the Iraqi Embassy, is the one presented in 2014 against an employee of that embassy who illegally issued Venezuelan documents for individuals from Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Pakistan. Although this could be due to lucrative purposes, the fact that the ambassador prevented investigating the case (the woman still works in the embassy) demonstrates the alleged acquiescence of the authorities with regard to this procedure. The ambassador in Iraq, Jonathan Velasco, denies that the mission has issued documents for foreign citizens.
In any case, an embassy employee who offered his testimony, backing Lopez Soto's complaint, was found beheaded shortly after. At the time when the Chavismo was strengthening ties with Hezbollah, Velasco was at the key position of ambassador in Tehran. Then he went to Ramallah. And after being declared by Israel persona non grata he was sent to Iraq.
Embassies in the Middle East have also helped promote the economic interests of businessmen such as Majed Khalil Majzoub, owner of Hardwell Technologies, a company under suspicion by the United States. In 2012, the Venezuelan businessman of Lebanese origin visited Jordan to negotiate electricity contracts in Petra and in 2013 he went to Iraq, also on a diplomatic trip, which seems like an irregularity. The embassy prepared his meetings with the Government of Baghdad and Kurdistan and asked both to pay for lodging, security, and other expenses. Majed Khalil Majzoub owns the plane in which Maduro's nephews were arrested for carrying 800 kilos of cocaine.
EMILI J. BLASCO