Some thoughts and questions on yesterday’s open accusations against the Venezuelan bolibouergois

December 1, 2009

While I did derive some satisfaction yesterday listening to the press conference led by Henry Ramos Allup about corruption in the robolution, I could not help but wonder if this could have been stopped earlier. Most of what Ramos Allup said, from structured notes, to buying banks with no money (and raping them), to PDVSA bonds, to insurance commissions, to scams, have all been chronicled in this blog in one way or another. (Only newspaper Tal Cual has covered this in detail, even infamous Globovision never touched most of these issues for fear of being shut down)

While sometimes I have had to limit names, the stories are here in detail, but its depressing to think that a Government that considers itself to be revolutionary has allowed this cancer to grow under its protection and allowed the biggest corruption scams not only in the country’s history, but likely in the Western world´s recent history to fluorish. We are talking billions, not millions as I have tried to explain many times, even if the cheerleaders of the robolution refused to admit it, calling me biased, hateful and out of touch with reality. Where are you now?

Ramos was clearly supplied with the information, but he had the outlines right and made mostly good use of it, not only citing names, the part mostly feared by those that denounce, but also mentioning amounts. And for each scam, there was usually a billion of commissions for those involved, under the not so watchful eye of the Comptroller and the General Prosecutor. And I knew most of the names mentioned but not all, some I do not know for sure if they should be there, many were missing, but many have known in detail the scams set up, while Chavez claimed to be fighting corruption and the Comptroller said he had investigated all cases brought to him.

I will not bore you repeating all of the details in this post, but would like to note a few aspects that are worth emphasizing at this time:

Government deposits in the banking system are (were?) huge: As of Sept. 29th. Government deposits in the commercial banking system reached Bs. 42 billion (US$ 21.55 billion) or 19% of monetary liquidity (M2). Despite this, the Government issued US$ 5 billion in debt in October. Even worse, of the Bs. 42 billion, Bs. 4.1 billion or US$ 2.155 were deposited in the four recently intervened banks in August and September. (Thanks to Jose Guerra for this information). This makes absolutely no sense! Who allowed it? Why? Recall that the Banco del Tesoro was created precisely to optimize the Government’s Treasury. But clearly these official deposits do not follow rationality, but graft and commissions and thus the problem. Venezuela incurs into more debt, as the money needed sits unused in banks which are bankrupt under the supervision and cooperation of the robolution.

Government officials cooperated with the failed banks: These people perpetrated their felonies not only under the eyes of Chavez and his Ministers and supervisors, but many made money out of it by allowing things to happen, by selling structured notes and bonds to these banks in opaque processes, transferring official deposits in exchange for commissions and bypassing the laws and regulations.

And Ramos named most of them, not all correct, but most are there, including the fact that the brother of Über-Minister Jesse Chacón, Arné, has gone from living in a “rancho” in 1997 to being wildly rich in 2009. And he admits that he did not put up a dime for buying his first bank and he said it is obvious that being Jesse’s brother helped him get deposits into “his” banks. Those are the new morals and ethics that the robolution is trying to instill in its supporters. Or how about the former President of the Comisión Nacional de Valores Francisco Candia, an unknown Lt. when he was named to that post, he just happened to be President of none other than Banco Confederado last week now at the services of Fernandez Barrueco. Was he being paid for favors in this manner? Or how about the fact that Banfoandes itself, a Government bank, had 25% of its deposits in private commercial banks?

And the Chávez praying mantiss effect is at its maximum: Poor Fernandez Barrueco has already been swallowed and convicted and former Minister of Finance Cabezas denies that “he even has a connection to the revolution” The bankers charged have no links to us”. Well Rodrigo, the only “banker” charged so far is Fernandez Barruecos, who only happened to be the largest supplier of Chávez’ Misión Mercal, a man that went from almost rags (He managed a parking lot when Chávez came to power) to riches (Worth US$ 1.6 billion according to his personally audited financial statements as of Dec. 2005, before he became a banker) To say nothing of the former cops, Captains, intelligence and military officers who are “bankers” in at least three of the four intervened banks.

And then the biggest Pinocchio has to be the Minister of Interior and Justice(??) Tarak Al Assiami who spoke to the gallery saying that he ” has asked Interpol for the capture of the Directors of the intervened banks who are outside the country”.

Funny, there is no order to capture them here and he has already ordered Interpol to do it? And Interpol will obey? That is not how Justice works Mr. Minister, youneed the Prosecutor to order the local capture first. All the Government has done is to issue a preventive order not to allow the Directors to leave the country. But if they are outside, until they are formally charged there is no way in Hell that Interpol will do anything but throw away Tarek’s request to the waste basket.

But lying like this, cheating the “people”, is now the rule of the day for these people who claim to feel sorry for the poor as they are killed daily under the same supervision and enforcement on criminals that seem to supervise and enforce banking laws.

These simple facts illustrate what a sham poor Venezuela is living. The Mafia has taken over under the guise of political ideals. Frankly, while anything should and could be better than this, the depth of corruption and unethical behavior, accompanied by the billions accumulated by the bolibouergois make me very pessimistic that Venezuelan can get out of this curse any time soon. We have become a country where lying, stealing and lawlessness are the rule of the day.

But can we get out of it or will the new rules and absence of ethics of the bolibouergois rule Venezuela for decades to come?

19 Responses to “Some thoughts and questions on yesterday’s open accusations against the Venezuelan bolibouergois”

  1. hasta la vista, baby Says:

    Arturo,

    You seem to exhibit many of the traits that have given “stature” to Venezuela’s fearless leader, including the inability to stop running at the mouth even though you know you’re ranting in exasperation.

  2. Claudio Says:

    yes it’s clear “Arturo” is talking out of his ass. Keep ’em coming!!!

  3. Claudio Says:

    Arturo, is your last name Osorio because that’s the only Arturo I know who is a dumbass like you! So Arturo, please tell us more about you. Educational background, place of birth and why your interest in trying to discredit “Octavio”

  4. moctavio Says:

    Arturo, Arturo, you are becoming a parody of yourself. I just realized you dont understand any of it. You cant tell a structured note from a mutuo or a financial statement, you throw big cliches and words up in the air, but You are just the typical ra ra, you dont even read the posts!

    Let me explain for the last time:

    THERE IS BLATANT CORRUPTION AND COOPERATION

    It is all there, in my posts, in the way these banks were not forced to get rid of th structured notes and in the way the Government ALL OF IT, continued to deposit money in them. Did you miss the part in the post about the increase in two months? Why did Banfoandes have so much of its money in these banks? How did Fernandez go from managing the Hilton parking lot to 1.6 billion in 2005 (What? 3 billion today, I dont know, but it has to be more)? How did Arne Chacon becoem a multimillionare and never had a job until 2003 according to Venezuela’s social security system.? How come Fernandez hired Candia to be President of his bank? Do you even know who Candia is?

    Until you try to really answer these with more than cliches in buzzwords, you will be ignored, you are just trying to distract. bye Arturo!

    BTW you want to know the commission levels? I know them all.

  5. Bernardo Says:

    Arturo,

    You must have never been on a government blacklist, or had your national ID documents withheld for a year because of a “misspelling on your last name.” Maybe you didn’t get shot at when marching on Miraflores. Or gassed repeatedly in Chuao. It probably wasn’t your family whose retirement funds were seized after the PDVSA firings. Or your friends who’ve had their families kidnapped repeatedly. Your lands or property have never been seized, your livelihood threatened. Your personal effects have never been stolen when entering or leaving the country.

    It’s not paranoia when there’s a clear precedent of corruption and malicious intent. This is not a trustworthy government, not a group of people trying to rule for the people. It’s a cabal that conspires with organized crime, builds fortunes that would boggle the minds of their humbler, more honorable followers and stamps out its enemies brutally and publicly, within the barest constraints of the law (and often stepping far beyond them).

  6. Arturo Says:

    So, as is usual in the opposition mind set, this is all the fault of the government. Nothing less could be expected. I concede that Sudeban may have been remiss by not spotting the irregularities carried out in these four banks in Fernández Barrueco’s empire but it’s impossible to say if this was complicity, incopmpetence or inefficiency or a combination of all three. The fact is that it will be the bank directos whowill be in La Planta at some stage, not Behrens of Alí Rodríguez. It was the bankers who stole the funds (according to what Chavez said this afternoon) for illegal oprtations so how is the government to blame?

    Of course it is a move to protect depositors funds. After you recover your BsF.10.000 you are not oblñiged to leave it in the nationalized Banco de Venezuela. If you are free to move you money,how is this “leverage”? You comment sounds rather paranoid to me, sorry to say.

  7. Bernardo Says:

    Arturo,

    The banks aren’t “in trouble” due to some serendipitous coincidence or backroom dealings of which the government just became aware. They were party to and benefited from each and every one of those scams, at the very least turning a very satisfied blind eye to each of them.

    How magnanimous of the government to relocate the funds to Banco de Venezuela, an institution which, if I recall correctly, is now OWNED by the government, who recently announced its rebranding in a nationally televised press conference.

    In all fairness, if this were a responsible government, this could be a move to protect depositors’ funds. But it’s not – it’s THIS government. This just gets them that much closer to everyone’s private assets and gives them that much more leverage over Venezuelans.

  8. ErneX Says:

    Arturo must live in the land of no clue at all, “Chavez is alerting people” what kind of bullshit is that?

  9. Arturo Says:

    Octavio – if there are more banks in trouble then Chavez is alerting people to this fact. But you criticize him for it (creates nervousness)

    If there are banks in trouble and he says nothing then you’ll say that he has no idea of what is happening.
    It’s heads you win and tails you don’t lose.

    Savers are recouping some money today. Banco de Venezuela has slots on TV telling people when to go there to migrate their acounts according to cédula.

    I suggest you all read the comments sections in Noticias24. The crazies are out wanting a run on the whole system in the belief that it will unseat Chávez. They’ve got no hope and Bob Hope if they think this.

    My overall impression today is that things are calming down after the statement from the Banking Association.

  10. Robert Says:

    Dear Concerned
    Your sentiment has been expressed thousands of times in the blogs and comments of Daniel, Quico and Miguel since around 2002/2003. Nothing has changed yet. All that’s left is prayer if you lean that way or complete collapse of the financial system and even that could be followed by a Mugabe-esque solution where Chavez refuses to go anywhere.

  11. concerned Says:

    Is the sudden courage to speak out against the robolution a sign of foolishness, or is it the sign of things to come? If more people in the right positions would find the same courage, it would spread like a wildfire and possibly force the zombie horde to open their eyes to just how badly they are being screwed. If they wake up now, I don’t think there is enough money laying around to buy them off again.

  12. Arturo Says:

    What are you talking about? I have not seen one. Have you? BTW – what did the DISIP find when they raided the offices of U21? Any news on that?

  13. Arturo Says:

    Deanna – government deposits were withdrawn from these banks after lowering the encaje requirement and before the “closed door intervention”.

    Octavio – I understand your frustration and you making accusations against everyone in the government but they are just words. How can this be proven? Do you think that Orgeta Díaz will want to interview Adán Chávez or Diosdado, for example?

    At present it is not the ownership of the banks or insurance companies being questioned but who carried out these fabled “illegal operations” to break the banks.

    Sudeban should also be questioned about not preventing the collapse but I note that the Banking Association approved government actions in a statement yesterday. Why? Fear of being nationalized?

  14. Deanna Says:

    The saddest part about this whole situation is that the largest majority of Venezuelans, including the well-meaning and loyal but deceived Chavistas, did not share in the country’s bonanza for the past 11 years which made it possible for these crooks to become immensely wealthy. According to the latest news, 80% of Vargas government deposits were in Banco Canarias. What happens to Vargas now?

  15. antonio aranguren Says:

    Most people do not yet understand what is happening and think that what we have in front of u is just another financial crisis and do not see the mafia aspect and dirty business that has become venezuela’s revolution; the challenge if you decide to accept it is to make plain people understand what is going on.

  16. Robert Says:

    why aren’t photo’s of Arne’s home published in the newspaper? and other evidence of corruption?

    If it were so sad, it would be humorous the way chavistas are finger pointing these days. And now we know what happened to Barruecos………he stole the governments money which would have been ok when they were rolling in dough but not now.

  17. Megaescualidus Says:

    How much is Chavez himself worth? How about Maduro? How about “la foforito”? And Jose Vicente, Lina Ron, etc, etc, etc?

  18. Holl Says:

    Great post. If Fernandez Barruecos is worth around $2 billion my guess is that Diosdado Cabello is worth around $10 billion. Unbelievable

  19. Gringo Says:

    Ramos had a lot of cojones to speak out. Regarding what good will come of it, don’t know.


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