Another setback for Chavista justice. The Supreme Court of Italy has refused the extradition of Rafael Ramirez, former president of Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA) and former Minister of Petroleum, requested by the regime of Nicholas Maduro, announced his lawyer this Saturday.
“The Italian Supreme Court has definitively declared the extradition request inadmissible,” Ramírez’s Italian lawyer told Reuters, Roberto De Vita, who highlighted that the Italian court ratified a previous sentence in which it indicated that the former high official could not be returned to Venezuela due to his record of human rights violations.
The agency reported that judicial sentences in Italy are initially delivered to those involved in the case and the verdict has not yet been published on the Supreme Court’s website.
Rafael Ramirez, the once powerful “Venezuelan oil czar” and author of the term “red, rojillo” as he baptized the Chavista revolution, held the hydrocarbons portfolio and the presidency of the state-owned PDVSA, between 2002 and 2013 during the so-called oil boom, whose prices They climbed to highs of $110 a barrel.
“Harassed by the Chavista regime”
The Italian lawyer said that his client was being harassed by the Chavista regime for having criticized him and requested his dismissal through the recall referendum.
Consequently, the Maduro administration had asked Interpol to locate and arrest Ramírez in 2018 and subsequently demanded his arrest. extradition from Italy in 2020 in connection with charges of embezzlement and bid rigging for oil contracts. Ramírez has denied the accusations of corruption, saying that Nicolás Maduro seeks to defame him for criticizing the president’s management, according to his lawyer.
From his residence in Italy, Ramirez has been criticizing the Maduro regime for being corrupt and violating human rights. Last December, in one of his last public statements, he argued that Maduro must be revoked by the Venezuelans.
Maduro sabotaged and aborted the collection of signatures to activate the recall last Wednesday. The electoral entity declared the process inadmissible, thus annulling the possibility of removing him from the Venezuelan presidency halfway through his term.
“Nicolás Maduro must be revoked, since there is no possibility of amending his government, they have been destroying the country and its economy for eight years, plunging the people into poverty and despair; snatching away their political, economic and social achievements, making a country more unjust and unequal than ever, destroying institutions, destroying the State,” Ramirez said a month ago.
For Chavez’s former minister, Maduro’s “has been the worst government” in Venezuela; plunging the country into a deep political, economic, social and spiritual crisis.
“The Maduro government has dismantled the institutions of the State, turning it into a mafia and violent network; at the service of the interests of the group that remains in power, acting at the margin of the Constitution and the laws. This government, in the midst of the most absolute incapacity and indolence, has destroyed our economy and oil industry, our economic sovereignty,” said the former oil czar.