Rafael Ramirez, the man who squandered through nepotism and graft schemes the largest amount of income that Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has ever seen / will ever see, is challenging other chavistas to debate about corruption. Seriously.
Le propongo a @dcabellor un debate en su programa sobre el tema de la corrupción, la privatización de la industria petrolera y la lealtad a la obra de Chávez, como juramos frente a su tumba https://t.co/VGwOBc8Zme #VerdadesQueMolestan
— Rafael Ramirez (@RRamirezVE) 5 October 2018
It is very difficult to even begin to understand the sort of derangement that Ramirez has, considering the staggering amount of evidence that shows he is absolutely corrupt. However, the new PDVSA, the one led by Manuel Quevedo, continues to be run like in Ramirez's "halcyon" days as CEO.
Take Helios Petroleum Services, a shell company that got from Quevedo an oil concession right in Diosdado Cabello's backyard in El Furrial (Orocual field). Helios is meant to put an initial investment of $190 million to "increase production". What track record, if any, does Helios have to have gotten that concession?
Research shows that Helios is nothing but a shell, fronted by one Fabio Ghilli. It has alter egos in Panama and in El Salvador. Emails sent to its operations and sales "departments", manned by Luis Montilla and Alejandro Dona respectively, requesting comment as to role of Ghilli, and Helios ownership went unanswered...
This site can reveal that Jesus Vidal Salazar Acevedo, a former army and Diosdado Cabello's proxy who keeps getting contracts from chavismo, is behind Helios Petroleum Services. Salazar "made his wealth" through CONSTRUCTORA VIDALSA 27, C.A., a construction contractor favoured by SENIAT, CORSOBAIN, Ministry of Transport, SINOVENSA, and PDVSA with multiple contracts over the years.
Needless to say that whatever Salazar gets in terms of procurement is only due to his relationship with Diosdado Cabello. His other business ventures in Florida (VS OIL & GAS PROCUREMENT GROUP LLC, ENERGY VENTURE LLC) are little more than shell companies without any meaningful track record.
Alas Salazar is not the only Cabello proxy at play here. For there's Simon Armas Marquina (head of Tecnicas Petroleras C.A. / TEPECA), another "very successful entrepreneur" close to Cabello and favoured by Quevedo with recent concessions, who keeps getting PDVSA contracts. Another proxy of Cabello, Majed Khalil, changed the name of his Pacific Rim Energy shell -to INDIGO ENERGY CORPORATION SL- and is said to be fronting some of the investment expected of TEPECA ($130 million).
It would be interesting to hear a Ramirez / Cabello debate on corruption, no doubt. For every Salazar there's a Baldo Sanso, a Wilmer Ruperti, a Jorge Neri Bonilla in Ramirez's side. For every Simon Armas Marquina there's a Diego Salazar. For every Majed Khalil there's a Nervis Villalobos... There's only rampant corruption and mismanagement in PDVSA, old or new. Quevedo is but Ramirez in military fatigues.