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September 2018

OFAC sanctions José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's benefactors

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro described best the actions of Spain's former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero vis-a-vis Venezuela, when he said recently that Zapatero was "an imbecile". Almagro said that someone who needs seven clarifications to understand something must be an imbecile. Almagro does not know, though assumes as everyone else, that Zapatero is an apologist for Nicolas Maduro's regime, working hard towards keeping Maduro's criminal organization in power.

US Treasury targets Venezuela's true power: Cilia Flores

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury added today to its Venezuela-related Designations (SDN list) a number of chavistas (see below). It is worth highlighting that Cilia Flores, partner of Nicolas Maduro, is the true power behind the chavista regime. Jorge and Delcy Rodriguez are also key players in chavismo's power structure.

Not all news that's fit to print

When it comes to Venezuela's corruption, this site has become a reference. Nowadays, we see banks (compliance departments), insurance companies, law enforcement, law firms, and international media playing catch up, devouring some of the stuff posted here over the years. It is quite unfortunate -and unethical- that stories first published here end up as exclusives, without attribution, in traditional media.

Why hasn't DoJ arrested Rafael Ramirez? Exhibit Andorra

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Rafael Ramirez, former concurrent Energy Minister and CEO of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), basically managed Venezuela's income between 2004-2014. While at the helm of PDVSA, over $1.2 trillion got past his hands. Ramirez is even on the record, admitting that he oversaw transfers between PDVSA and the Venezuelan State worth some $480 billion.

Venezuela Crisis: SDN / SSI PDVSA, then negotiate

Further to previous article about the kind of solution that could realistically be put in place to deal with Venezuela's crisis, perhaps it's worth expanding on strategy. Lots of people are thinking drones, or military invasions are the only way. But before the first Hellfire drops, OFAC should SDN / SSI PDVSA, and every subsidiary, including CITGO. Assets in the Caribbean and Nynas could be added for good measure.

Only a negotiated solution can solve Venezuela's crisis

Many years ago, when Venezuela wasn't notorious internationally for a chavista-made humanitarian crisis but for having a loquacious leader that broke protocol wherever he went, I argued in an article that, ultimately, the end of chavismo could only come about by offering some sort of amnesty, pardons, and compromise to some of the most hated chavista officials and boligarchs in the country. History contains many examples. Seldom peace has been achieved by waging war.

David Boies wants details of PDVSA Litigation Trust hidden

Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), lest our American friends forget, is the principal engine of whatever is left of Venezuela's economy. It has always been thus. Whatever happens with / to PDVSA, is a matter of great significance to / for Venezuela and its citizens. PDVSA launched in Florida and Switzerland competing fraud claims -against Glencore, Trafigura, Vitol, Lukoil, etc.- in what its legal counsel presented as one of the largest corruption schemes to hit the energy giant. A scheme that, allegedly, lasted years and cost the company billions in losses.

No Hope For Venezuela

Venezuela is, again, in vogue. Is not Hugo Chavez calling George W. Bush names from an U.N. pulpit, but the actions of his Havana-picked heir, Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has all the power that Chavez... Let me rephrase: Maduro has more power than what Chavez could ever amass. Maduro has consolidated a narco trafficking, dictatorial, galloping kleptocracy and has vested himself, and his collaborators, with power quotas beyond democracy's and rule of law reach. Normal rules just don't apply to Maduro and his criminal organization. He can't be voted out, dismissed, impeached, or taken to court.