VENEZUELA’S President Nicolas Maduro is flouting US sanctions thanks to the Bank of Spain.
According to Bloomberg, the failing state’s central bank is increasingly relying on its Spanish counterpart to receive and transfer funds across borders.
It comes as the US has spearheaded a global effort to cut off financial support for Maduro via sanctions.
It has prompted many large banks and financial institutions to cut ties or perceived dealings with the embattled regime.
But in Venezuela, contractors are being told to go through the Bank of Spain to make and receive payments outside of the country – although it could still take a month for the cash to clear.
In an emailed statement, a Bank of Spain spokesman told Bloomberg the account kept by Venezuela is ‘used to pay operating expenses related to the diplomatic relations between the two countries and by international organizations to send funds to Venezuela since they can’t use commercial banking channels.’
The balance of the account is ‘relatively small and has not registered significant variation in the past year,’ according to the statement.
The Spanish government has deftly maintained relationships with both Maduro and the opposition’s Juan Guaido who is recognised by more than 50 countries as the rightful leader of the crisis-ravaged nation.