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The one about Nicolas Maduro cracking down on Tareck el Aissami's corruption

Since last Friday it's been reported: "Tareck (el Aissami) is going down... Joselit Ramirez, his right hand man, was arrested... Antonio Pérez Suárez, head of PDVSA's trade department, was arrested... law enforcement got to the Arosio Hobaica brothers... Delcy and Jorge Rodriguez were seen screaming at Tareck... Maduro is livid due to billions lost in unpaid subterfuge trading... Alessandro Bazzoni is involved along Joaquin Leal... They're coming for Majed Khalil and brother Khaled... Alejandro Arroyo got caught..."

While Maduro's corruption show is developing, Cilia, his wife, head of the largest, most powerful and corrupt cartel in Venezuela, is tranquilaza. The Rodriguez siblings, another couple at top of an immensely corrupt power structure, are just at ease, like Diosdado Cabello. Tareck, the one at the center of the alleged probe, is stilll a free man.

The problem with Maduro's theatrics is that every single person in his entourage, every single regime official, every minister, every high rank military, every judge and the Attorney General, every PDVSA chief and every businessman that has succeeded in the last two decades, they are all completely, absolutely and unabashedly corrupt. The entire apparatus is endemically corrupt. It is and has been a policy, actively pursued. A very successful criminal organisation rules Venezuela since 1999 and its unrivalled power is underpinned precisely on guaranteeing that corruption is all pervasive.

This site finds amusing that anyone would entertain this farce as a legitimate and genuine attempt to root out corruption. If Maduro were serious about it, he would hand himself in, negotiate a deal and collect $45 million offered. But that ain't gonna happen. 

What interests us is the reasons behind this shuffle. This site does not buy PDVSA's loss of income as plausible explanation. The argument that Maduro is clipping Tareck's presidential aspirations is equally bogus. There are other speculative claims out there, none of which make sense. So why this move, and why now? Petrozamora was taken from Russian parties and given to friends of Nicolasito. Then and now PDVSA's minority partner in that joint venture is corrupt, so again, corruption isn't the problem here.

PDVSA's off the books trading to avoid Treasury sanctions is what kept the lights on. Maduro's main man, Alex Saab, was heavily involved. Maduro has moved heaven and earth to free him. But Tareck, the Rodriguez siblings and Diosdado were also in the sanctions busting deals, which did not cease with Saab's arrest. It would be a mistake to think Maduro does not get the lion share of all dodgy deals done with / by PDVSA. Maduro's favourite Raul Gorrin and son continue involved, while not a single word has been said about Armando "Coco" Capriles, Tareck's money man.

Maduro continues to be at the top of his game. In geopolitical terms, having Tareck around, or not, doesn't make the slightest difference. Relations and trade with Russia, China, India, Cuba, Iran and Turkey aren't going to be affected in any meaningful way. Maduro is already on record saying he can't care less about restarting negotiations with the opposition brokered by the Biden administration, or getting approvals from Europe in coming elections, while Chevron's lifting of Venezuelan crude carries on as normal. Going against Tareck doesn't bring any returns to Maduro.

If it isn't politics, local or international, could it be related to drug cartels, drug trafficking? If it were Tareck would probably be dead, or buried in solitary confinement somewhere. It isn't clear this one, and is definitely not about corruption.

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