Leopoldo J. Martinez is a Washington D.C.-based Venezuelan tax expert and lawyer, closely aligned with the opposition movement to the late Hugo Chavez. Martinez is meant to be Washington's representative of MUD -umbrella group of parties and politicians- led by Henrique Capriles. His Twitter and Facebook account reveal where he stands politically. There are photos of him sitting proudly next to Capriles (picture).
In addition to that, he is meant to be Chairman and CEO of something called Center for Development and Democracy in the Americas (CDDA), a very lofty-sounding name for an organization with little to show for itself. There are no records of CDDA in Guidestar, and IRS tax-exempt organizations database. Registry or financial information is also missing from its website. Florida State records however do show an entry for CDDA. Sources in Washington have told me that Martinez took the liberty to include names of distinguished Venezuelans in CDDA's board without their permission.
In "The New Europe", a ghost-of-a-publication operating out of London, Martinez is presented as part of DAVOS Financial "Wealth Management team" along with David Osio and Gustavo Rivas. Given the commonality of the name, it could be argued that there are many Leopoldo Martinezes in Venezuela, and the one from DAVOS Consulting is a different person. But then, Martinez, the one referred above, has made menacing calls to people who have criticized his boss: David Osio, of DAVOS Financial Group. Furthermore, there's an affidavit, filed by DAVOS Financial's lawyers in relation to accusations of fraud filed against David Osio in Miami by former associates, wherein Martinez claims to have "personal knowledge" of matters related in claim, and admits that in 2012, as Managing Director of LMN Consulting LLC (Delaware registered, shares address in Washington with CDDA), he was "retained by Davos Asset Management to update a U.S. Transfer Pricing Planning Analisys... prepared by Deloitte Tax LLP in April 2010." Martinez basically states that "certain DAVOS affiliates do not have an engagement" in U.S. trade and lack a "continuous, substantial, and regular activity in the U.S." which could exempt it of declaring / paying tax. Martinez also lectures about anti money laundering, and even warns about entities registered in places like Delaware...
So there is no doubt that the Leopoldo J Martinez who dabbles as MUD representative in Washington D.C. is an employee, or has been an employee, of David Osio, one that can be called upon to write affidavits in support of his patron's legal fights. Readers of this site may recall previous blogs about David Osio and his dodgy financial group. Nothing wrong with being employed by the likes of Osio, however the size of the conflict of interest associated to being an opposition representative at the same time is just inescapable.
The opposition movement in Venezuela is totally permeated by individuals like Martinez, who have no problem playing for both sides. In fact, there's another character closely related to Martinez, Ramon Jose Medina, also a member of CDDA board, who has indefensible professional relations with 'banker' Victor Vargas, another hugely corrupt individual who's become minted thanks to Hugo Chavez. But what is totally unacceptable, and must be publicly denounced, is attempts by Martinez and his boss to silence perfectly valid criticism. Mind you, these fellows are meant to be pro democracy, right? How can it be explained that a "pro democracy" advocate sends threatening letters and emails, and makes threatening phone calls to critics? And it is worth asking: why has Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -au courrant of Osio's antics- failed to decry such anti democratic practices in U.S. soil? Bear in mind that Osio was even awarded some kind of Congressional Medal in "recognition for his distinguished contribution" to the U.S. What "distinguished contribution" would that be? Lying to the public about his bank's operations?
Martinez has declared "under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America" that David Osio's financial operations are above board. That remains to be seen, and the jury is still out on whether Osio is as innocent as people taking his dime believe him to be. But what do the laws of the United States say about threatening people over the phone for no valid reason? Since I do not know, I sent an email to Martinez, requesting comment. It has not been replied to. The certainty here is that the opposition movement as a whole could very well do without individuals like Martinez. There's no future for Venezuela with such morally bankrupt leadership.