Archive for August 4th, 2008

Six Years for the Devil, one for Maletagate

August 4, 2008

It is a day for anniversaries. First this blog is exactly six years old today, lasting longer than I ever thought possible and becoming a larger responsibility that I ever bargained for, but I have never avoided that. It´s been fun, it´s been hard work, it has been quite a ride. I guess you regret the things you never did, so I am glad I started this, without knowing where it was taking me.

And as Chavez landed today in Buenos Aires, it was curious that this was the first year anniversary of ¨Maletage¨ as a private airplane arrive in Buenos Aires a year ago and one of its occupants had a suitcase with ¨only¨ US$ 800,000 in cash. This case represents everything that stinks and makes the Chavez administration the most corrupt, unethical and crooked in the country´s history. It also represents the archival nature of this blog. I started the story here, when the Government was in total denial. Wrote about it many times as the Government decided to deny and then spin it. Government officials even asked what was the big deal? There are many more, just say Maletagate in the Google search box on the left and you can find the whole story and history of this shameful episode of our history. I even tried to write up the name Maletagate in Wikipedia, the only time I ever did that. They did not let me, but the name stuck.

Just think, 800,000 dollars in cash retained and never claimed, being carried in a PDVSA plane, in a flight costing US$ 64,000, for a joint venture that never got off the ground, where all sides denied any knowledge, where the Prosecutor said there was no crime in a country with exchange controls, where the National Assembly never opened an investigation, where the same characters still run PDVSA, where Venezuelans went to the US and threatened the man carrying the suitcase and their family, where three of them pleaded guilty and the whole thing involved people so high up in the Venezuelan Government that Chavez had to know and if he did not, had to be informed at the time and has done or said nothing about it.

Yeap, a complete trail of corruption, graft, threats, money and abuse of power, ignored by Government and the justice system. Carried out by people on both sides, Venezuela and Argentina. A trip that began with this simple picture published today by El Nacional, where those involved, many new to wealth and the trappings of power and Government made sure they stopped and took a picture of their first flight in a private jet plane, many hoping that it will not be the first, now that they had joined the ranks of the robolutionary.

In any other country such obscene behavior would have been enough to bring down the Government. Here it is just the everyday life of the robolution and Venezuelans inability to be scandalized by anything anymore.