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February 2019

Venezuela crisis: more imagination needed, military intervention non starter

Expectedly the Lima Group just said it won't support military intervention in Venezuela. Nothing new there really. No South American nation is about to attack another, despite Venezuelans' baseless hopes to that effect. What puzzles is the lack of imagination that Juan Guaidó, Venezuela's opposition, and its coalition of friendly nations have shown thus far. U.S.

PDVSA oil sales during Rafael Ramirez reign: $1.3 trillion USD

Last week I was asked to quantify the size of the loot at PDVSA during an interview. This site has been crunching some numbers in that regard. Whatever the approach, Rafael Ramirez's reign looks very grim. It could be owing to the fact that Ramirez was Minister of Energy and CEO of PDVSA -at the same time- for most of that period. That is, Minister Ramirez was responsible to keep PDVSA's CEO Ramirez in check, something entirely unfeasible.

FBI probes Petrobras' corruption: when PDVSA's?

There seems to be a degree of discrimination regarding international criminal investigations involving U.S. justice and law enforcement. The whole world was glad to see America putting Sepp Blatter out of business for a little while. When it comes to rampant corruption in oil companies, Petrobras seems to be on everyone's lips, due in our opinion to Sergio Moro's quixotic LavaJato (carwash) probe in Brazil.

Henry Ramos Allup's son was employee of Helsinge Inc

Helsinge Inc, a little venture controlled by Francisco Morillo, Leonardo Baquero and Daniel Lutz that managed to win almost every single PDVSA bid in which it participated, stands accused of having defrauded billions of dollars from PDVSA. It did so for many years, through a remarkably simple method: it gained real time access to PDVSA's bidding system, which allowed itself and its partners (Glencore, Trafigura, Vitol, Lukoil, etc.) to place winning bids at the very last minute.

Venezuela's corrupt fishing in troubled waters of Guaido's transition

Picture the following: in recent visit to Washington, I proposed to Pedro Burelli -for many years esteemed friend- that, given that Juan Guaidó's interim administration was looking to recoup lost funds to help with Venezuela's reconstruction, legal counsel of PDVSA in Geneva lawsuit against Helsinge, Trafigura, Glencore, Lukoil, Vitol et al ought to be replaced. Reason is simple: current one (Canonica) came to it thanks to Wilmer Ruperti.

U.S. Treasury should expand sanctions against Nicolas Maduro

The U.S. Treasury Department finally included PDVSA in its sanctions regime against Nicolas Maduro's kleptocracy. The ratcheting up came after the Trump administration recognised Juan Guaidó as interim President of Venezuela. Today, Germany, France, UK, Spain, Austria and Sweden announced their respective recognition of Guaidó, given Maduro's failure to seek a meaningful solution: i.e. call for free and transparent elections.

[UPDATED] Sources: Wassoul'or and Noor Capital stripping Venezuela's bullion

Three separate sources have now reported the following scheme to this site: Aliou Boubacar Diallo, controls a gold mine in Mali called Wassoul'or. Noor Capital's Olivier Couriol (DOB 05/11/1964 traveling on French passport no 17FV26627), Rashed Al Suwaidi and Abdul Jabbar Al-Sayegh are (silent) partners of Diallo as per Malian sources.