Alek Boyd's blog
London 25.06.2012 | It is a matter of great pride to learn that the investigation collaboration I did with in partnership with other local companies / partners. Both Barone and Vasquez Galindo are now wanted by Paraguayan authorities for their involvement in the fraud. Members of CAJUBI's executive board have been also indicted, while former prosecutor has been dismissed from the case.
London, 3.5.12 | The following is a series of stories I have heard in the last few days, and some thoughts, that signal that Venezuela is well and truly in the twilight zone. How long will it be in it, and how will it exit, continues to be anyone's guess.
Updated 14.05.12 - Further to my previous post about chavista thugs suddenly realising the importance of online reputation management -in a likely post Chavez era- I have been able to narrow down who may be behind the clumsy intimidation attempt aimed at me: meet Majed Khalil Majzoud, an 'internet savvy' chavista.
"We need volunteers!" "Will you be my witness?" "Will you help organise the primaries in London?"
Those kinds of comments have been arriving in my inbox for a while now. Having organised and set up my share of Venezuela-related, political events in London in the past, everyone sort of expects that this time too I would be involved in organising things.
As usual, there are many myths floating around when it comes to Venezuela. It's the land of realismo mágico. Just the other day, I was reading a story in El Universal, where Chavez was basically saying that thanks to him, presumably, Venezuela's GDP has increased three fold. At this point, it is futile to call Chavez on his BS: the poor man is so deranged that he does believe his own lies.
"Money talks and bullshit walks" goes the saying. Sir Frank Williams is quoted by BBC as having said "Pastor has proven he is not only quick but can also maintain a consistent and strong race pace..." Fair enough, some may say. However, it would have been interesting indeed to hear Williams' opinion regarding Maldonado had he not come to his team with a multimillion pound sponsorship deal from PDVSA.
*UPDATE at bottom. Lately, information coming out of Venezuela confirms that officials from the Hugo Chavez regime are totally unaccountable, above the law for all practical purposes. It sort of started when Congressman Carlos Ramos revealed there was a $29 billion fiscal hole in FONDEN, which is basically an out-of-budget fund that Hugo Chavez uses with absolute discretion to fund his pet projects and global revolution.
The state of play in the alleged transfer, by Venezuela's Central Bank (BCV) of a sovereign bond, worth $2 billion, to Kellmar Ltd and Tony Caplin, is the following.
Daniel writes in to say that I should provide a bit of an explanation for why this should be a scandal. I guess that the reason would be that it is simply not normal for a Central Bank, to transfer free and clear, ownership of a sovereign bond, worth $2 billion, to a recently formed limited company with a share capital of £2,000, managed by an individual (Tony Caplin) who appears as inactive in the Financial Services Authority register.
Congressman Carlos Ramos is now turning his attention to Frank Williams' F1 team. PDVSA, the Venezuelan oil State conglomerate, is sponsoring the Williams F1 team. No one in Venezuela -apart from a handful of chavistas- knows how many millions have PDVSA promised and disbursed to Williams F1 team. In any case, according to Venezuelan legislation, no public monies can be committed to any such projects without the approval of the Venezuelan Congress.
The letter from Congressman Carlos Ramos to Isabelle Marand, VP Corporate Coomunications at Gemalto, was delivered to her office in 6 Rue de la Verreine, Meudon, in France, on 7 November 2011, according to La Poste:
Fortunately, somebody in Venezuela is paying attention to the investigations carried out in this blog. The letter below, from Congressman Carlos Ramos (same one who made public the $29 billion hole in FONDEN), addresses some of the issues about the contract between Gemalto and a dodgy Cuban intermediary without track record, for the provision of electronic IDs to Venezuela.
One can see them around. They are unmissable. For all their designer jeans, cool shirts, buckle shoes, limited-production watches, matte or white cars and bespoke perfumes, they can't fool anyone. A characteristic tackiness gives them away. Russians, Africans, above all Arabs, Latin-Americans, to a lesser extent Europeans, they are either the architects of tyranny, or its offsprings. Mayfair, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Belgravia... London's most expensive areas are their playground.
US embassy cable - 10CARACAS233
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2017
TAGS: EPET, ENRG, EINV, ECON, VE
SUBJECT: OIL TRADING: SKELETONS IN PDVSA\'S CLOSET
REF: A. 2006 CARACAS 3224
B. CARACAS 183 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: Acting Economic Counselor Shawn E. Flatt for Reason 1.4
In another twist in the ongoing saga of Hugo Chavez ceding sovereign matters to Cuba, El Nacional reported on 17 July that the new electronic IDs will be handled by a branch of a Cuban "technology" university, called ALBET, which in turn has subcontracted Dutch multinational Gemalto's 100% owned Mexican subsidiary -to the tune of $40,500,000- for the provision of 6 million e-IDs.