Fort Lauderdale District Attorney's Office requests a 23-year prison sentence for Hugo Chávez's nurse and treasurer and 20 years for her husband

A Florida court convicted Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén and her husband Velásquez Figueroa, who was the tyrant's bodyguard, of money laundering and bribery.

Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillen, known as Hugo Chávez's nurse and treasurer, and her husband, Adrián José Velásquez Figueroa, the bodyguard of the president until 2013, were found guilty last November of money laundering and bribery. On Wednesday, the Fort Lauderdale District Attorney's Office requested she be sentenced to 23 years and five months in prison. The prosecution also requested her husband be sentenced to 19 years and five months for these crimes. The court, presided over by Judge William P. Dimitrouleas, is expected to rule later Wednesday.

The 23-page document filed by Glenn S. Leon Markenzy Lapointe, chief of the fraud section of the U.S, Attorney's Office, states "The nature and circumstances of his involvement in an immense laundering and bribery scheme, involving more than $1 billion in bonuses and more than $100 million in bribe payments, merit a significant sentence."

The prosecution claims that she should be sentenced to at least 283 months in prison and he should get no less than 235 months. "They would be just enough and no more than necessary." The punishment includes the confiscation of their property, as well as fines.

Claudia Díaz and Adrián Velásquez were close collaborators of then-President Hugo Chávez. In 2013, after the death of the tyrant and the rise of Nicolás Maduro, they began to lose the trust of those in power, which was just the beginning of their problems. The current Venezuelan dictator removed her from office in 2016; the couple then decided to leave Venezuela and settle in Spain until 2018 when they were arrested after the Chavista regime issued an extradition order for the crimes of money laundering and illicit enrichment. Nothing came of that because the Spanish National Court considered that Díaz and Velásquez would not receive a fair trial in Venezuela and that their personal safety was in danger. However, a similar request from the United States, where the couple was extradited in 2022, was successful.

Díaz Guillén was a member of the Guardia de Honor, the body responsible for the security of the presidents of Venezuela. She was also part of the team of doctors and nurses that took care of Chavez, even before he suffered from cancer. He ended up appointing her as national treasurer, a position in which, according to the United States, she managed to enrich herself through a corrupt money laundering system. Adrián José Velásquez Figueroa was head of the Security Department of the Miraflores Presidential Palace during Chávez's term of office.