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  • Felipe Gonzalez is a member of the powerful Club of Madrid.

    Felipe Gonzalez is a member of the powerful Club of Madrid. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 June 2015

Serving 14 years as a Spanish minister, Gonzalez’s last years in office were undermined by corruption allegations.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, whose reputation has been marred by corruption scandals, was in Venezuela Monday, supporting far-right opposition politicians Leopoldo Lopez and Daniel Ceballos.

Gonzalez was in the country as a lawyer to defend the two men who are behind bars after being convicted for inciting violence.

​According to the ruling, Lopez and Ceballos played a significant role in protests that broke out in Venezuela for over five months in 2014, in which over 40 people were killed, with opposition violence overwhelmingly responsible.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro labelled the visit as yet another example of outside intervention into Venezuela “to mess with the homeland.”

The Supreme Court ruled that Gonzalez can not act as an attorney in Venezuela, as it would break the country’s laws on the professional competency “required by the Constitution to act in this profession within our country,” the President of the Supreme Court explained.

Previously Venezuela’s Congress had classified Gonzalez as a "persona non grata."

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Serving 14 years as Spanish minister, Gonzalez’s role as forming part of the final step towards democracy in Spain when he took over as premier in 1982 was undermined by murky final years, when his government was accused of waging a dirty war against Basque separatist group ETA, as well as a string of financial scandals,

He is also a member of Club of Madrid, a powerful private group comprised of selected serving and former world leaders. Among them, in the exclusive society intended to “promote democracy,” is former Mexican president Felipe Calderon, whose election was marred by fraud, and under whom many thousands of Mexicans were disappeared in a dirty drug war.

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Other members include former Latin American premiers Jose Figueres of Costa Rica and Vicente Fox of Mexico who were involved in corruption scandals, and Ernesto Zedillo, who was president of Mexico during the Tlatelolco massacre, when military and police butchered up to 300 students as part of the Dirty War in 1968.

​Venezuelans have taken to social media to vent about the unwelcome guest using the hashtags “Get Felipe Out of Here,” (#FelipeFueraDeAqui,) and “Venezuela Respects Itself” (#VenezuelaSeRespeta).

RELATED: Venezuela – Supreme Court says Felipe Gonzalez can’t represent opposition

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