The forgotten man in the accusation by the President of the Assembly

November 20, 2005


I did not write
much
about the statements by the President of the National Assembly Nicolas
Maduro, charging that The President of TV station Globovision was at a meeting
with banker Nelson Mezerhane, where they attempted to bribe the judge in the
case to the tune of US$ 3 million. The charge seemed preposterous because
Mezerhane had turned himself at noon on the same day that Maduro had charged
the meeting had taken place in the evening. Moreover, the President of
Globovision was at a meeting at the station with some 200 people organizing the
sale of ads for the 2006 season. When a reporter asked Maduro about the fact
that Mezerhane was in jail that night, he was certainly taken by surprise.

But lost
in the shuffle and the noise, was the fact the accusation was broader than this.
What Maduro had actually said was that Mezerhane, the President of Globovision and Tobias
Carrero
were reportedly at this meeting.

Who is
Carrero? Well, that is where it gets interesting:

Tobias
Carrero is the owner of one of the largest insurance companies in the nation,
Multinacional De Seguros, as well as hotels, radio stations and newspapers. Carrero
was in fact, the main financer of Chavez’ Presidential campaign. Carrero is
from Chavez’ Barinas state and went to the same high school as Chavez. Chavez
went around Venezuela in Carrero’s car, had offices at Multinacional de Seguros
during the campaign and Carrero and Luis Miquilena were in charge of collecting
funds for the campaign including the infamous illegal campaign contributions by
Spanish bank BBVA and Santander to the tune of a few million dollars.

Once Chavez
won, Carrero’s empire blossomed as the Government contracted with his insurance
company and awarded him licenses to radio stations without competitive bidding.
Lawyers from Carrero’s companies were named to the Supreme Court after the
Constituent Assembly (and are still there, dominating the Constitutional Hall).
Carrero has seldom appeared with Chavez in public and has kept a low profile,
but I doubt they are no longer close.

The
question is then why did Maduro included Carrero in the accusation, given that Carrero is close to Chavez? Moreover,
why has the media played down this inclusion, deciding instead to simply ignore
it? It certainly sounds like this was a political move on Maduro’s part,
including Chavez’ financial buddy for a specific reason. The question is why? And why is
the media ignoring it? Simply Fear?

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