Archive for August 10th, 2007

Maletagate: Venezuelan Government goes from complete denial to spin

August 10, 2007

(From El Clarin)

After six days of denial and dismissing the case of the $800,000 suitcase that arrived in Argentina in an airplane full of high Argentinean officials and PDVSA executives, it was clear that the Venezuelan Government held a high level meeting and decided to change strategies, as the Chief of the Argentinean Cabinet called for the second time in two days for an explanation on PDVSA’s part and the judge in the case in Argentina mysteriously withdrew form it.

So far, the only Chavista to ask for harsh measures was the Vice-President of the National Assembly who this morning called for the firing of all PDVSA employees involved in the case.

But then, within a bunch of minutes of each other (El Universal reported their respective press conferences at 4:25 PM, 5:54 PM and 6:57 PM) we heard from the Minister of Energy and Oil Rafael Ramirez, who had been silent or six days, from the Minister of Finance who had refused to broach the subject and from the man who up to yesterday called the case a media scandal that took place outside of Venezuela, the sad character who occupies the office of General Prosecutor of Venezuela, Isaias Rodriguez.

Ramirez seemed to be the one mostly in a defensive position
, calling for an investigation but at the same time saying that PDVSA and Enarsa had a fluid working relationship and a constant exchange of workers. None of this justifies asking for rides or having the children of PDVSA executives fly in Enarsa’s plane, which Ramirez failed to mention.

General prosecutor Rodriguez changed his stance completely from his wimpy position yesterday, opening the investigation he said yesterday was not going to be opened until the Argentinean authorities completed their own findings. Today Rodriguez sent a letter to his counterpart in Argentina asking not only for information on the incident with the plane and the suitcase, but also about Guido Antonini and what his legal status in that country was.

Minister of Finance Cabezas was wishy washy, calling at some point for anybody’s head, saying it was not that common for anyone to be carrying US$ 800,000 in cash, but later denying any Government official was involved as if PDVSA was not being managed and run as an integral part of the Government and its President was not the same man occupying the position of Minister of Energy and Oil in the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Guido Antonini, from the comfort of his home in Florida, while even some Argentineans were claiming he was still there, said this was al a huge misunderstanding and gave the unlikely story that he was going to use the money to buy an apartment in Buenos Aires. A far different story from what the local press was reporting he said in the first few minutes of the incident, when he was supposedly heard saying: “I am soldier, you are not going to get out of me where it (the money) is coming from or going”

Even more intriguing, Argentinean newspapers report that both Antonini and Uzcategui gave the same address, corresponding to a building where the company who rented Enarsa the plane has its offices. Did they not have any other address? Was it an attempt to deceive? Very strange indeed, no?

Which may in the end explain, why he left all of the money there, when he could have kept at least half of it. It sounds like the typical case, where he thought the cavalry was going to arrive and save him and the money. But the Argentinean cavalry was apparently too involved with the campaign of Madame Kirchner, while the Venezuelan robolution cavalry has always been very careful of never been seen or associated with its intermediaries.

Even if everyone knows who they are…

Maletagate continuedďż˝ The Caracas-Buenos Aires Axes

August 10, 2007

Petkoff’s questions to Proscutor General today, are not too different from mine yesterday:

Maletagate continued…The Caracas-Buenos Aires Axes by Simon Bocanegra (A.k.a. as Teodoro Petkoff)

According to Isaias the incredible, the “Prosecutor”, there is nothing to investigate here, “because the events took place there”, that is in Argentina. No Isaias, the events began to take place here. It was here, in Venezuela, where the executive plane took off, and among its passengers there were three high ranking executives of PDVSA, plus the son, almost a minor of the Vice-President of PDVSA Diego Uzcategui, and another Venezuelan who had a briefcase with the trivial amount of 800 hundred thousand dollars. It was from here, Isaias, that the dollars left. It was from here, where, at the very least, there was some form of foreign exchange crime of taking out that bunch of dollars without declaring it. It was from here, Isaias, where the security officers allowed the suitcase to go through. Thus, Isaias, if you were not the subordinated official that you turned out to be, you know well that you have enough material to being an investigation. But there are other questions that you should answer. Where did the dollars come from? From CADIVI? From PDVSA? From one of Antonini’s companies? From which Venezuelan bank could they have come from? Could they belong in reality to Uberti the crook and Antonini was only a mule? Did Antonini bring them from the US? From which bank? All questions which correspond to “events” that took place here. But there is more. Who put Antonini in the plane? Uzcategui the son or Uzcategui the father, who coincidentally, is Vice-President of PDVSA? Or could it be that it was the crooks from the Kirchnnerian mafia, who go around PDVSA as if they owned it? Because those crooks are blaming it all on PDVSA.

It was them, those poor guys, that were “caught in their good faith”, as stated by the Minister of the Interior of Mr. K. Finally Isaias, Shouldn’t you find out what the money was for? Or is that unimportant detail? Or was it a little help for Madame K., as they say over there? While in Argentina the heads are rolling, because Kirchner can not protect his co-conspirators, you are trying to maintain them there over their respective necks, free of any responsibilities or guilt.