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Think corruption in Brazil's World Cup is bad? The Odebrecht case in Venezuela

Brazilians are meant to be incensed with Dilma Roussef for what they perceive as squandering public money and corruption in contracting construction companies for infrastructure projects related to the coming World Cup. The big winners are privately-held companies, among which Odebrecht, the one that has benefited the most according to Bloomberg. While I can't tell whether Odebrecht won those contracts from Roussef's government in open and legitimate bidding processes, as it should have, it is worth shedding some light on Odebrecht's operations in Venezuela.

State of media in Venezuela

Venezuela's Union of Press Workers reported a week ago that Rona Rísquez, Raquel Seijas, Luis Martínez and Eliberth Edardo, former coordinators in El Nacional's press room, were unfairly dismissed last week. El Nacional's management tried to force another 40 workers to resign. Little has been made about this. Aside from Union of Press Workers' rather brief release, timidly replicated, and some reactions on Twitter, no international media seems to have picked up on this new development.

What's the story between Ignacio Arcaya & Victor Vargas?

Last week I posted about latest filings in Otto Reich's RICO lawsuit against Derwick Associates. It presents quite an unexpected and interesting twist to the corruption saga: one of the defendants, Francisco D'Agostino, allegedly offered information on the other two defendants (Alejandro Betancourt and Pedro Trebbau) to Reich in "exchange for his dismissal" from the lawsuit. No honour among thieves, right?

MUD & Boligarchs

The other day we found out -thanks Roberta- that representatives of the umbrella group opposing chavismo in Venezuela had been asking the U.S. State Department to NOT impose sanctions on individuals responsible for atrocious human rights violations. Roberta's faux pas was, in my opinion and contrary to conventional wisdom, a calculated move. It was a clear message from the State Department intended to expose turncoat Venezuelan politicos that love to pretend one thing in public, and then get in bed with utterly corrupt cronies of chavismo.