Lazard, an old investment bank from France that operates around the world, has been retained by PDVSA to sell CITGO. Lazard describes itself as "the world's leading independent financial advisory and asset management firm." A document leaked to this website provides the best-to-date insight into Lazard's relation with PDVSA on the specifics of CITGO:
Alek Boyd's blog
The Wall Street Journal's Caracas' man, Ezequiel Minaya, posted an article a couple of days ago entitled "Venezuela's Press Crackdown Stokes Growth of Online Media", in which he lays out some of the problems the Venezuelan press is experiencing.
"... money is the name of the game here..." said Peter Fritsch during a panel discussion at the Wilson Center on how to (cue in drum roll) disrupt money laundering.
"We are a transparent company and have nothing to hide" said Adam Kaufmann, former New York DA's chief investigator, to the Wall Street Journal in relation to probes that his former office and other Federal Agencies have launched against his client Derwick Associates. A transparent company does not need an army of lawyers and spin doctors to obscure every single operational aspect, but perhaps transparency has a different meaning in Derwick's world. In any case, Derwick has been caught lying repeatedly, and it seems that evidence of another lie has just emerged.
Money. That was the first game that Miguel Angel Capriles Lopez asked his father for, when he was gifted his first electronic gadget. Miguel Angel Capriles Lopez (aka Michu) is, quite possibly, the most powerful Venezuelan you never heard of.
A tweet alerted me yesterday to the latest on the Otto Reich lawsuit against Derwick Associates in New York. District Judge Paul Oetken on 18 of August dismissed "Claims I and II (RICO) and VII (civil conspiracy)." And added in his conclusions: "Defendant D’Agostino’s motion for leave to file a sur-reply (Docket No. 57) is granted. The parties shall confer on the appropriate scope and schedule for jurisdictional discovery and submit a joint letter to the Court with a proposed schedule on or before September 12, 2014."
Finally, a major publication like the Wall Street Journal picked up on the gargantuan corruption racket that Derwick Associates has been involved in in Venezuela. In "Venezuelan Energy Company Investigated in U.S.
Derwick Associates Is Probed by U.S., New York Agencies for Possible Bribery, Banking Violations", the WSJ goes to town on some of the issues readers of this blog have been aware of for quite some time:
Insistent rumours had been making the rounds for some time about the alleged sale of El Universal, Venezuela's oldest and last standing independent newspaper. The sale, for an alleged €90 million, was confirmed this week. The new director is meant to be Jesús Abreu Anselmi, an obscure individual with a rather interesting past link to Gustavo Gomez Lopez's Banco Latino and, more recently, to turncoat -and former Gomez Lopez partner- Gustavo Cisneros.