According to the newspaper, the current president of Venezuela, then Chavez’s foreign minister, sent a briefcase with 3.5 million euros to the Venezuelan consulate in Milan addressed to Gianroberto Casaleggio to secretly finance the movement founded in 2009 by Beppe Grillo.
According to ABC, a Spanish newspaper with a conservative address, the Venezuelan consul in Milan, Gian Carlo di Martino, acted as intermediary for the final transaction in Casaleggio, which took place in cash. The document indicates the co-founder and ideologue of the Cinquestelle Movement, who died in 2016, as “promoter of a revolutionary and anti-capitalist leftist movement in the Italian Republic”. The 3.5 million euros – adds the newspaper quoting the intelligence document, then led by Hugo Carvajal – were sent “safely and secretly through a diplomatic suitcase”. The briefcase also created an internal problem in Venezuelan diplomacy, the newspaper reveals, because it had been found by the military officer who had informed Carvajal about it. The latter allegedly reassured him with a dispatch in which he stated: “Verbal instructions have been given to our official in Italy not to continue reporting on the matter, which could become a diplomatic problem” between Italy and Venezuela. Carvajal has been on the run since last November after approving his extradition to the United States, where he is accused of drug trafficking and the sale of weapons to Colombian FARC guerrillas. Spain, where he had taken refuge – the newspaper points out – had failed to prevent his escape. The sum destined for the Cinquestelle Movement would have been drawn from reserved funds administered by the then Minister of the Interior (today in the Ministry of Economy), Tareck el Aissami, who was, and is, considered to be a trusted man of Nicolas Maduro. Aissami – the newspaper recalls – has been subject to sanctions by the US authorities for crimes related to drug trafficking and money laundering. The same authorities who a few months later adopted economic sanctions against Maduro accusing him, immediately after the elections that the US considers illegitimate, “a dictator who ignores the will of the people”. ABC claims to have contacted those directly involved in the matter, including the current leader of the M5E, Vito Crimi, his former political leader, Luigi Di Maio, the Venezuelan consul in Milan, Gian Carlo di Martino and Grillo himself, but that “none of them answered the questions.”
“That of Venezuela’s alleged funding for the 5-star Moviemento is simply ridiculous and imaginative fake news. On the question there is nothing else to say, except that of the distant 2010 I remember when I was candidate for president of the regional in Lombardy. Even then, as well as in the following years, what we carried out was an election campaign made with very few resources and means, the result of micro donations from Italian citizens. For the rest, we will evaluate whether to take legal action. We certainly do not let ourselves be distracted by certain shots or intimidate “. This was stated in a statement by the political leader of the 5 Star Movement Vito Crimi.
“Thanks to this secret document published by the Spanish ABC, we understand the attitude of the Italian government towards Venezuela and Maduro. I will present an urgent question to Borrell to find out who in Europe and for how long he received illicit funding from the Venezuelan regime.” Antonio Tajani, Forza Italia MEP on the revelations of the Spanish newspaper ABC that Nicolás Maduro allegedly financed the Cinquestelle Movement in 2010, wrote it on Twitter. The Spanish newspaper cites a classified document of Venezuelan intelligence, of which it publishes a photo.
“While shouting ‘vaffa’ to the political world and presenting themselves as the guarantors of legality, the leaders of the 5 Star Movement in 2010 would have collected 3.5 million euros in cash sent to Gianroberto Casaleggio in a briefcase by the current president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, then Chavez’s foreign minister. If what was reported in the Spanish newspaper ‘ABC’, which mentions a document by Venezuelan intelligence, was confirmed, we would be faced with irregular and secret financing by one of the most controversial governments of South America to the political force expressed today by the Prime Minister and which has a relative majority in Parliament. Beppe Grillo, instead of defending Conte from Di Battista’s internal attacks, could give some immediate explanations. After Pappalardo’s terrapiattisti and orange vests, we also thought we had seen everything … “. Mariastella Gelmini, leader of Forza Italia in the Chamber of Deputies, says this in a note.
“If the revelations of the Spanish newspaper ABC were confirmed, according to which the Venezuelan government led by Chavez, and with Maduro Foreign Minister, would have financed the 5 Star Movement with 3 and a half million euros, we would have faced a very serious event”. This was stated by Sandro Gozi, MEP of Renew Europe. “According to the Spanish newspaper, in July 2010 the Venezuelan regime sent a briefcase with cash to the consulate in Milan, to be delivered to Gianroberto Casaleggio, as” promoter – reads the official Venezuelan intelligence document reported by ABC – of a leftist, revolutionary and anti-capitalist movement in the Italian Republic “, Gozi continues according to which” it is appropriate that the 5 Star Movement deny as soon as possible this story which, if confirmed, would embarrass not only their party but the entire government Italian”.