July 27, 2006

So now, Deputy José Albornoz wants to
go after Sumate
. According to this incompetent Deputy, Sumate violated the
Law of Foreign Exchange Illegalities when it received dollars in 2005 and did
not go through the Foreign Exchange Office CADIVI. Well, Sumate says they
received Bolivars, but the point is irrelevant anyway, because that law went
into effect on October 14th. 2005. You see Exchange Controls were imposed in
February 2003, but there was no law that established punishment for exchange
control operations. The law was introduced in April of 2003, but thanks to the
inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the National Assembly controlled by
Chavismo, it was not approved until last
, only two and half
years later. The law clearly states in its transient articles that it goes into
effect 30 days after its publication, which took place on September 14th.
2005. Until that day, you had to go thru CADIVI to get dollars, but there was
no law penalizing foreign exchange operations.

But I do find it interesting that Albornoz cares so much about the
Sumate funds, some one hundred thousand dollars, while the Government’s
Development Bank Bandes, presided by Minister Merentes at the time, exchanged
some US$ 1.5 billion, between 2004 and 2005, of the PDVSA social fund via the
parallel market in a total non-transparent way using “friendly” banks, but this
does not seem to get the attention of the Deputy who
was awarded today
the “Sleazebag of the week” award by Daniel.

This is pure and simple political persecution of the enemies of the
regime. Sumate is a threat to the Government. They almost succeeded in the
recall referendum, revenge has to be extracted at all costs.

(Note added: In fact, even after the law came into effect, it left opened the use of any form of security as a way to exchange dollars. Thus Sumate could legally change dollars via CANTV shares or swaps of securities. As a matter of fact this is what the Argentinean bond sale to the banks does. The Ministry of Finance sells banks and financial institutions Dollar bonds for Bolivars and this swap is perfectly legal under the same law)

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