Perhaps the best sign that things aren't going well in Venezuela is the sudden decision of powerful Boligarchs to flee the one place to which they owe their riches. In the last few months, we have learned about Juan Carlos Escotet's one billion-Euro bid and subsequent acquisition of Novagalicia in Spain.
Brazilians are meant to be incensed with Dilma Roussef for what they perceive as squandering public money and corruption in contracting construction companies for infrastructure projects related to the coming World Cup. The big winners are privately-held companies, among which Odebrecht, the one that has benefited the most according to Bloomberg. While I can't tell whether Odebrecht won those contracts from Roussef's government in open and legitimate bidding processes, as it should have, it is worth shedding some light on Odebrecht's operations in Venezuela.
An anonymous reader has sent the letter below. My reply will follow*.
Dear Alek Boyd,
I hope you will agree to publish this letter on your site without alteration.
Venezuela's Union of Press Workers reported a week ago that Rona Rísquez, Raquel Seijas, Luis Martínez and Eliberth Edardo, former coordinators in El Nacional's press room, were unfairly dismissed last week. El Nacional's management tried to force another 40 workers to resign. Little has been made about this. Aside from Union of Press Workers' rather brief release, timidly replicated, and some reactions on Twitter, no international media seems to have picked up on this new development.
Another exhibit of the typical improvisation characteristic of chavismo, Venezuela was treated yesterday to a show, attended by the top officials of the country, to 'inform about a plan', purportedly hatched via email between 5 people, to 'assassinate' President Nicolas Maduro.
RaFa the hacker sent me a concerned email. He tells me he's a Buddhist now. Is he a Buddhist hacker? Or a hacker who happens to be a Buddhist? Well, let's hear from him:
Back in late 2012, when I wrote my first post about Derwick Associates and got interested in their activities, I remember having done a WHOIS search on their domain name derwickassociates.com. The site appeared to have have been registered by Derwick Associates de Venezuela, using 17121 Collins Avenue, Apt.
Last week I posted about latest filings in Otto Reich's RICO lawsuit against Derwick Associates. It presents quite an unexpected and interesting twist to the corruption saga: one of the defendants, Francisco D'Agostino, allegedly offered information on the other two defendants (Alejandro Betancourt and Pedro Trebbau) to Reich in "exchange for his dismissal" from the lawsuit. No honour among thieves, right?
The other day we found out -thanks Roberta- that representatives of the umbrella group opposing chavismo in Venezuela had been asking the U.S. State Department to NOT impose sanctions on individuals responsible for atrocious human rights violations. Roberta's faux pas was, in my opinion and contrary to conventional wisdom, a calculated move. It was a clear message from the State Department intended to expose turncoat Venezuelan politicos that love to pretend one thing in public, and then get in bed with utterly corrupt cronies of chavismo.
Lawyers for Otto Reich in the RICO lawsuit against Derwick Associates (Alejandro Betancourt, Pedro Trebbau and Francisco D'Agostino) claim in latest filing (page 7 below) that D'Agostino (in turn son in law of Bolivarian banker Víctor Vargas of Banco Occidental de Descuento fame) "in exchange for his dismissal from this lawsuit, offered to provide information to Ambassador Reich that would be damning to Betancourt and Trebbau."