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Venezuela to take Alex Saab / Libre Abordo "bankruptcy" case to ICC

A couple days ago Reuters "reported" that Libre Abordo, the dodgy Mexican shell w/out a track record to speak of that entered into a "humanitarian food-for-oil agreement" with Venezuela's CORPOVEX, was "bankrupt." Till end of April, Libre Abordo and its subsidiary Schlager Business Group had lifted over 26MB of PDVSA crude in a period of about six months. On 7 May, this site reported about a meeting, whereby Libre Abordo representatives discussed details of first delivery of water trucks, which were part of the water trucks / corn food stuff deal set up between Libre Abordo and CORPOVEX. In short, Libre Abordo delivered water trucks and food stuff to CORPOVEX and got paid with crude that its Schlager subsidiary lifted from PDVSA. There is no clarity as to how the deal between Schlager and PDVSA was structured, who signed it, etc. In same vein, it is unknown how Libre Abordo hedged its procurement deal with CORPOVEX, and as of this writing nobody seems to know who are Libre Abordo creditors, and since when this shell is allegedly nursing "irreversible loses for over $90 million". In any case, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that it was taking Libre Abordo's bankruptcy case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. If there was any doubt, as to how integral Alex Saab's "commercial activities" are for Nicolas Maduro's regime, yesterday's announcement puts the matter to rest.

As a matter of fact, this is a first. A "Mexican concern" gets its client (Venezuela) to present a "bankruptcy" case before an international court in the Netherlands, with jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. This site would like to challenge conventional wisdom as per similar precedents. Consider, furthermore, that UBO of Mexican company isn't some random, legitimate businessman, but a Department of Justice wanted fugitive from Colombia associated with known and convicted drug traffickers.

Why would Venezuela side with a party allegedly in breach of contract? Both Libre Abordo and Venezuela knew about Treasury sanctions before the whole farce started. How come neither hedged their positions for the likelyhood of contractual breach due to sanctions? Who's chasing Libre Abordo for payment? Who financed its deals?

Libre Abordo's communiqué isn't even worth of serious consideration. Its domain was only registered last December. It claims the company "maintained for years its intention to help the needy..." Where's the evidence of previous engagements in "humanitarian" deals? It goes on to say "hundreds of thousands of citizens in extreme poverty are getting drinking water delivered to their homes thanks to hundreds and hundreds of water trucks delivered to Venezuela..." First delivery of 242 trucks took place 30 April, and were seen in Caracas for the first time 2 May. By this time, Libre Abordo had already lifted over 26 million barrels of crude. Again, where's the evidence of millions of people benefitting?

What has Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to say about Venezuela misrepresenting before the ICC a Mexican concern controlled by a Justice Department-wanted criminal?

In our opinion, this whole "bankruptcy" tale is nothing but an orchestrated propaganda campaign by Venezuela's kleptocracy to continue poking a finger to U.S. Treasury due to its sanctions regime against chavismo. Drug cartels never go busted, unless its leaders are either killed or put away for life, which isn't the case. It is simply impossible to give any credence to involved parties, and it strains credulity that news outlets like Reuters and Bloomberg are acting as Alex Saab's and Nicolas Maduro's PR agencies.

Libre Abordo has pretty much disappeared from PDVSA's latest shipping programs. It started being shown on its own back in late 2019, then its subsidiary Schlager appeared and both companies were given cargoes, then Schlager all but replaced Libre Abordo, and then come May 2020, it also vanished.

The new players are Proton Sociedad Limitada and Delta Limited Liability Company. Interestingly, Proton recently leased MT Respect vessel (IMO 9331244), owned by NGM ENERGY S.A. We know about Respect thanks to a legal dispute in the UK between Elemento Ltd and Tansy Shiptrade Inc [Tansy Shiptrade Inc v Elemento Ltd [2020] EWHC 193 (Comm) (27 January 2020)].

Elemento Ltd conducted some business with Libre Abordo in the recent past. Federal agencies probing Alex Saab's matters would be well advised in asking Elemento's associates (Alessandro Bazzoni and Francisco D'Agostino) whether they have -under own name or otherwise- any commercial links with Proton and Delta, and if so, whether Saab is the UBO. For Libre Abordo could "justify" its deals with PDVSA, but is as yet unknown who controls Proton and Delta, and why they seem to have all but replaced Libre Abordo / Schlager.

PDVSA is obfuscating information from its SAP system intentionally. According to our sources, some trading deals of late have taken place without paperwork, on handshakes / verbal agreements, and with direct involvement of PDVSA / government staff to avoid leaks. Traditional maritime agencies, insurers, shipping cos, etc., are being replaced by dodgy operators willing to risk it.

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