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November 2013

Open letter to Derwick Associates

Dear Derwick bolichicos, I know you must be desperately wanting to see the end of this Annus Horribilis. Mind you, in 2013 you have gone from cocky proxies of Hugo Chavez, persecuting and prosecuting his opponents, to pariahs. In the space of less than a year, you went from believing that you would get millions and destroy the reputation of widely respected Venezuelan businessmen, who made their names, wealth and businesses through actual work, to become perhaps the only billionaires in town worthy of near absolute contempt.

What happened with the $40 million contract given to GEMALTO?

In a previous post I revealed how Venezuela had basically surrendered to Cuba responsibilities related to citizenry identification issues. In doing so, the Chavez regime effectively gave access to sensible personal identification data of all Venezuelan citizens to Cuba (through ALBET) and, consequently, to whomever ALBET decides to subcontract. However, Germany's Bundesdruckerei is not the only multinational that got into the dodgy deal. For there's also Netherlands-headquartered GEMALTO, which got a $40 million contract through a Mexican subsidiary (Gemalto Mexico S.A. de C.V.) on 20 August 2008, for the provision of six (6) million polycarbonate ID cards with chips.

Mapping out the Boligarchy in Venezuela's kleptocracy

Thanks everyone for the many emails, with more information about Venezuela's Boligarchs and their 2.0 version. Perhaps it was a little premature, so I will rewrite this thing, and make a proper map, with all the companies, connected to all the individuals, in all the jurisdictions. It may take me a while, but I reckon it will come out good, maybe in book form, for future reference.

 

Meet Alex Saab: owner of Fondo Global de Construcción

Good old Setty tweeted the other day about Doing Business in Venezuela. According to its mission, Doing Business is a "project [that] provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 189 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level." Doing Business ranks Venezuela in 181 place, out of 189 economies measured. That is, according to Doing Business there's only 8 other economies in the world where, overall, doing business is worse in every measurable aspect than in Venezuela.