While I don’t particularly like Isamel Garcia of Podemos, he simply stuck his guns with Chavez for too long, you have to give him his due for doing what others are afraid of. In a little noted act last Friday, Garcia went to the Prosecutors Office with the leader of his party Podemos in the National Assembly to denounce (There is a more detailed article in Saturday’s El Nacional on page A-2, by subscription) a billion dollar corruption scheme by former Minister of Finance Rafael Isea.
You have read about this before in my blog, but as far as I can remember this is the first time a formal accusation is made. Essentially, Isea purchased “structured notes” of foreign bonds abroad and then sold them to local brokers (One of which was his main adviser and is part of the accusation, he was adviser and recipient at the same time)
According to the accusation, Isea spent between US$ 7 and 10 billion in purchasing these notes with dollars at Bs. 2.15 per $ which were then sold to local brokers at a higher price, but below the swap market price. These notes were used to lower the swap rate during the first semester of 2008, but it ended up being a waste of time, as the rate rose sharply again later. But the intermediaries made a lot of money and it is rumored that Isea made so much money that he purchased a number of radio stations that allowed him to become Governor of Aragua State in the Fall of 2008.
I wonder what the Comptroller Russian the Ruffian will say now, he always says that there are no “formal” accusations of corruption.
I wonder if a 10 billion dollar accusation will wake him up from his stupor.
Kudos to Garcia, he still has to work harder for me to like him…