Official press release from BANESCO, refuting claims about an alleged $50 million bribe paid by Derwick Associates to President of Venezuelan Congress, Diosdado Cabello, through BANESCO Panama.
I know, I know, today's a Sunday, mothers' day in the UK, but the stuff in Twitter from @jescotet is just too good to ignore. Check out the following tweets:
Diosdado Cabello is the current President of Venezuela's Congress. He has had many important roles in the chavista revolution, and is considered to be one of the three most powerful men in Venezuela. Cabello hails from the military, and participated in the coup led by Hugo Chavez in 1992. Cabello has recently been mentioned in a Florida lawsuit against Derwick Associates, a company that allegedly paid him a $50 million bribe. Wikileaks provides examples of how American authorities perceive Cabello, and so it is relevant to showcase these opinions, to get a measure of the man.
Life seems to be getting more and more difficult for Derwick Associates. A Venezuelan news site reported two days ago that Thor Halvorssen (with whom I worked in The Human Rights Foundation back in 2008-2009) has filed a lawsuit in Miami against Derwick Associates, and its executives Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez, Pedro Trebbau Lopez and Francisco D'Agostino.
Descifrado.com reports that Thor Halvorssen (my former boss at The Human Rights Foundation) has sued Derwick Associates (Alejandro Betancourt, Pedro Trebbau, Francisco D'Agostino and 25 others) in the 11th Circuit of Miami-Dade, Florida. Allegedly, high figures from chavismo could be involved in corruption. Derwick Associates has another pending lawsuit, in New York, filed by former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Otto Reich.
infodioLeaks continues to provide some truly amazing leaks about corruption in Venezuela. One of the first questions ever asked to Derwick Associates, when it became known that it had been gifted 12 contracts in non-bidding processes, was to produce copy of said contracts. After all, Derwick was believed to be a Venezuelan private company, run by Venezuelans, that had been contracted by Venezuelan State's institutions, and that had been paid with Venezuelan public funds.
Alejandro Betancourt is a chavista wunderkind. A 'pioneer and global entrepreneur' he seems to be preparing his move to Spain, considering the tough times in his native Venezuela. Given his worldwide 'stature' as a 'businessman, philanthropist, innovator, and financial wizard,' Mr. Betancourt’s PR team recently unveiled a new website: AlejandroBetancourt.Es (notice Spain’s TLD) to serve as his presentation card to the world.
It is not an exaggeration to say that in many Venezuelan homes, regardless of politics, there's a weapon. The website gunpolicy.org cites some stats: "The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Venezuela is 1,600,000 to 4,100,000... In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Venezuela ranked at No. 27... Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Venezuela there are estimated to be 1,100,000 to 2,700,000".
The latest in the series #youcantmakethisshitup comes from Hollywood director Oliver Stone. Early in his latest propaganda film, aptly entitled "Mi Amigo Hugo", Stone says (3.13) "I did not know then that Hugo's end was near, that he'd be infected with a brutal and aggressive cancer in 2011..."