The robolution is stealing Venezuela

June 18, 2009

Politically, Chavez has slowly taken away spaces from Venezuelans over the last ten years. One way or the other, institutions have fallen under the control of Chavez and his cronies and even those gained in elections by the opposition are threatened and ripped off by the Government, as roughly half of the Venezuelan population has lost its political rights.

At the same time, the revolution has stolen more and more spaces of the economy by having the Government take over companies, factories and whatever are of influence Hugo Chavez feels should be under the influence of the State.

But there is an even more pernicious take over taking place, that of the limited spaces of the Venezuelan economy where the private sector still plays a role. But this limited and remaining space is slowly being taken over by the robolutionaries, the so called boli-bourgeois, those than have enriched themselves under the shadow of the revolution and now are on a spending spree, buying out, fairly or not, whatever they can get their hands on in order to “clean” their ill-gotten fortunes.

When I began writing posts about the corruption levels going on in the robolution, many, including anti-Chavez people were skeptical of what I was saying. Fortunately, there were cases such as Maletagate, which revealed the lavish spending habits by the nouveau rich of the revolution, as well as the origin of their wealth under the silent shadow of Hugo Chavez and his fanatics.

But if there was silence on some of those cases of corruption, despite the fact that they were blatant and obvious, there is an even more dangerous process taking place: The buyout of ongoing companies by robolutionaries that under no circumstance could possibly justify the origin of the funds used to buy these institutions.

I have mentioned how a number of banks have mysteriously been purchased by unknown people, such as the case of Banco Bolivar, Confederado and Banpro. I have also mentioned the expansion of Bankinvest under the watchful supervision of Jesse Chacon’s brother, who according to this well documented post had no known employment until a few years ago. But today we hear that they also purchased Seguros La Previsora for US$ 185 million and the Chavistas that are irked by the smallest movement of Globovision and its owners, say absolutely nothing. The Comptroller, the same ruffian that disqualified Leopoldo Lopez politically because he used (with approval) money from one part of the budget on another, but found Merentes innocent when he borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily in a year in which Venezuela had a fiscal surplus, somehow says nothing. Mr. Ruffian: Where did these people with no known economic activity find the half a billion dollars spent in acquiring respectable businesses in the last two or three yeras?

And will the Insurance Superintendent approve with the same complacency as the Superintendent of Banks approves that of banks, the purchase of La Previsora?

Strange how regulations were speedily and expediently issued so that any transfer of property of a media outlet, TV or radio, has to be approved by the Government first, but banks and insurance companies are traded like baseball cards with the complicity of the authorities in those fields. In some cases the “new” owners are very obscure, have no banking experience as required by law, or are not even announced.

And one has to wonder if the Maldonado family, the former owner of La Previsora sold because they wanted to sell or they were made an offer “they could not refuse” as in the case of one of those banks that was magically sold after one of its owners was kidnapped a couple of years ago.

In the end, there is a slow take over of the private sector by the new oligarchs. They have more money than the old oligarchy ever dreamed of, which means that in the end they will outlast Chavez and his empty revolutionary project. They will move into the best neighborhoods in the East of Caracas and they will make sure to be ready for the “transition”, whether in two or twenty years, when they will be able to exercise power with their money and become the new elite, albeit one that never worked one day for it.

Thus, the robolution is stealing Venezuelan outright. It is the ultimate arbitrage: Get free money dealing with the Government so that you can buy legitimate businesses than in a few years everybody will have forgotten how you ended up buying them. Hope that Chavez never decides to take you over, but even then you are likely to come out ahead.

And, of course. Stay quiet. Don’t ruffle feathers. Go to Alo president if invited. Don’t meet with active military should anyone think you are conspiring. Just live and let live. Say socialism every time you talk to your employees. Mention your last meeting with Chavez when you meet with your workers. Steal and let steal, while your name and family gain the sudden prominence of the new robolutionaries, which in time will become the new oligarchs.

And there are new commissions to be charged everyday, insuring that the robolution steals Venezuela from the Venezuelans.

17 Responses to “The robolution is stealing Venezuela”

  1. Colin Says:

    Venezuela will be in shambles by the time the leadership is done robbing the country and making horrible economic moves.

    However, there will be great opportunity when that leadership is voted out (assuming that happens). Someone will have to be in Venezuela to pick up the pieces. I’m in Colombia, but I’ll be watching for when Venezuela turns the corner. Then will be the time to move in and help pick up the pieces.

  2. moctavio Says:

    Anon: That is becoming the norm, I have or had no info that this was the case, but it’s happening all over.

  3. Anon Says:

    As usual Miguel is right on the money. A source close to the Maldonado family commented recently regarding “an offer they couldn’t refuse”. It seems that the robolution has taken from them before (confiscation with no monetary compensation) and has offered to do so again.

  4. Roger Says:

    Back in the early 1990s when the economy in Venezuela was crashing and the Bolivar was tanking from 58 to 450 Bs to the dollar is a few shot years. What Venezuelans that I worked with told me was that things have always been corrupt in Venezuela but that now too many were trying to enter this area of the Venezuelan economy! In short, a country like Venezuela can support only so much corruption ! Now 15 years later and 10 years since the change in government, the Bolivar has had a Penile Rod inserted and even with the oil bust, They continue to milk the Golden Goose. Wait, you can’t milk a Golden Goose right? But we are talking about Venezuela where Pigs Fly and no leader since and including Francisco Miranda has not been demonized by the Venezuelan People at some level.

  5. Deanna Says:

    As the Mafia gangsters say in the movies, “We’re making an offer you can’t refuse.”….

  6. liz Says:

    They buy banks and small businesses alike.

    Someone I know in the eastern states was visited by Diosdado himself accompanied by another man. He said he was very happy with his small enterprise and not interested in selling. A very polite conversation and all.. but he was warned, ‘you better sell, as we’re making a good offer; if you don’t… you’ll loose everything and will go to jail’.

  7. Deanna Says:

    Talking about the Mafia, that’s how they legitimized their ill-gotten gains, by buying legitimate businesses and making sure that their heirs ended up with educations from private universities, became professionals and somehow became legitimate businessmen and professionals in the eyes of the world. So, what else is new???? That’s the history of the world, the robber barons always became the elite a generation later.

  8. Gringo Says:

    Of intererest.
    Mafia aided by allegedly corrupt Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) officials

    Financial Times: One summer afternoon, two “Japanese” men in their 50s on a slow train from Italy to Switzerland said they had nothing to declare at the frontier point of Chiasso. But in a false bottom of one of their suitcases, Italian customs officers and ministry of finance police discovered a staggering $134 billion (€97 billion, £82 billion) in US Treasury bills…..

    Italian officials, while pointing out that hauls of counterfeit money and Treasury bills were not unusual, were stunned by the amount involved. Investigators are looking into the origin and destination of the fakes. Italian prosecutors revealed last month that they had cracked a $1 billion bond scam run by the Sicilian Mafia, with the alleged aid of corrupt officials in Venezuela’s Central Bank. Twenty people were arrested in four countries. The fake bonds were to have been used as collateral to open credit lines with banks, Reuters news agency reported. The Venezuelan central bank denied the accusations.

  9. firepigette Says:

    Gerry, Of course you are right.Those who are supporting Chavez have definitely lost their rights: to a country that is safe. to a country that is just, to a country with a decent educational system, to true self respect and honor, to the right to a free speech, or to the right to vote in honest elections and on and on.

    Those who think they are getting away with something, are eventually going to learn what immature people often take eons to learn, and if they don’t learn they will feel the consequences of:

    – that nothing in life is for free.-

    Immaturity is a much bigger problem than lack of education in the formal sense, and often when people speak of ‘maleducado’ or badly brought, up they are referring to the same thing I am now.

  10. GWEH Says:

    good question Kepler. Venezuelans are a very passionate lot and the day that passion is awoken across the spectrum is the day Chavez is no more.

    We did see a glimpse of that after the 11A massacre ordered by Chavez that was planned two months in advance (while oppo sectors were conspiring, so was Chavez). Chavez made a huge mistake that day and he’s liable to make another.

    OTOH, maybe the slow boil of the economy could trigger that awakening as the poor, dissafected and disenfranchised realize that things are worse and untenable.

  11. Kepler Says:

    Miguel, good post but the title is a non-title to me. It is like “Chavez is bad”. We knew it. Again: the post in itself is very good and I am sending it to many friends outside Venezuela.

    Gerry, as GWEH said, the current thieves are a lot on both sides. The potential thieves are an even larger group. That is the problem with Venezuela (well, one of the 5633821 main problems).

    I don’t know…all this is horrendous to all Venezuelans of good will, but to the rest of the world this is all a very bad soap opera. They read about the Vergatario or closing down of TV channels, that is about it.
    As for Venezuelans: qué tiene que pasar para que despierten?

  12. Andromeda Says:

    The tentacles of the new boliburguesia reach everything.

    Just as an example:

    Did you know that the latin version of the Travel Channel, called Sun Channel, is owned by the infamous Khalil brothers from Eveba, etc?

    Wonder if Mr. Chavez knows about the ‘commercial’ relation between one of his edecanes (Morales… the husband of the Polar and Televen chick) and these bandits.

  13. Gerry Says:

    GWEH:
    The inert have no recourse. Very sad.

  14. Gringo Says:

    Off topic but Miguel has blogged extensively on this.
    Sir Allen Stanford arrested in US

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8108520.stm

  15. GWEH Says:

    Gerry, many of these crooks are educated some very well and their numbers are large. They are also on both sides.

  16. GWEH Says:

    Pedro Torres of BANINVEST is a frontman aka “testaferro” for JVR and Diosdado even though these two are political adversaries. He recently bought Central Banco Universal in Barquisimeto (http://www.google.com/finance?q=CLS:BHN) from the two owners: Alejandro Gomez and Omero Izquiel. I know that was a forced sale with Pedro basically telling them the bank was his now. One of them (name withheld) received USD $50 million … I don’t know what his shares were worth. This same group is now going after the Barquisimeto Hilton which is also owned by the aforementioned.

    They are moving very fast snatching up banks, insurance companies and whatnot. PSF’s should be ashamed of themselves for being so stupid and gullible.

  17. Gerry Says:

    I wish it was only 50%.

    “”””as roughly half of the Venezuelan population has lost its political rights””””

    But I fear you are mistaken:

    1/ The 50% which you cite as having lost their rights are the educated who strive to change the status quo.
    2/ The other 48 or 49% are the ignorant who also have lost their rights due to trusting a thief and a liar.
    3/ The remaining one or two % are just thieves – these we will always have with us.


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