Pension Funds: The Same Story by Teodoro Petkoff

March 11, 2011

Pension Funds: The Same Story by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

In the scam with the Pdvsa Pension Fund, there are several things you can say that are perfectly clear.

First, Mr. Francisco Illarramendi managed the fund at will and was caught red-handed, getting rich with the money of the workers of PDVSA, which he managed anyway he wanted.

Second, thus, “Gordo” Illaramendi managed the Fund by appointment of Rafael Ramirez, thus, this gentleman knew everything.

Third, PDVSA workers, contrary to the lies of the capo of PDVSA, had no art or part in managing funds that were theirs. They could not exercise any supervision or monitoring of the dirty dealings that were taking place with their money. If it were not for the gringo institutions, who discovered the fraud, PDVSA workers still would not know anything. Fourth, while in the US there is an investigation and an open trial on the robbery to the Pension Fund, here in Venezuela from Chavez to Ramirez the issue is ignored, as if it had nothing to do with them. Just like what happened with the case of the “Gordo” Antonini Wilson. Trial and sentencing in the U.S., open trials in Argentina, but here, outside of a discrete forced retirement of Mr. Uzcategui, PDVSA’s principal passenger on the plane and veteran scammer with Argentina, the thing was covered up. Now, of course, they attempt to apply the same technique. Look the other way and let “Gordo” Illarramendi defend himself, hanging on a wire, like they left Kaufman, Duran and company in the scam from the suitcase. You can steal, but at your own risk. If you are caught, don’t count on your government accomplices.

39 Responses to “Pension Funds: The Same Story by Teodoro Petkoff”

  1. anapterygote Says:

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    a quick and painless task. With the extremely wide apertures,
    they collect a lot of light and work well in dimly lit areas (like a church).
    As I got older I really wanted a nicer camera so I bought one and couldn’t wait to get
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  2. gd Says:

    Yawn… Jens I’m a leftist and even I see Chavez is a sham. I can’t wait for the day this house of cards comes tumbling down. After chronic mismanagement, there will be a banking crisis defaults, etc. What will you say then?

  3. Jens Torsten, alias der Böllerböhlke Says:

    Lies, nothing but capitalistic lies.
    They were clearly set up by the CIA and Camoras gang of rats.
    Pfui Teufel, it a shame you fall on this tricks over and over again.

  4. el gocho Says:

    I read a lot of useless arguments here. At least one thing is clear: the ultimate responsible is Rafael Ramirez and Daniel wrote it as clear as it gets.

  5. Manfred Wagner Says:

    Nothing happens nothing changes because the people of Venezuela as most Southamericans are just a bunch of egoistic cowards and as long somebody is living worse than themselves and somebody sells them cheap liquor and throws them a chicken from time to time they feel fine.

  6. Because the certification letter from the accounting firm to support $ 275 million of the funds assets was false, then this is the lowest amount the fund has lost

  7. GeorgeS Says:

    And more:

    Luis Villasmil, miembro de la Asociación de Jubilados de la Industria Petrolera (Ajip), aseguró que desde 2006 se empezaron a evidenciar las irregularidades en el manejo del fondo de pensiones

    “Nosotros detectamos que para los años 2008 y 2009 hubo pérdidas de 800 millones de bolívares fuertes del fondo, pérdidas no declaradas por la Junta Administradora. La Ajip tuvo acceso a esa información, pero PDVSA no dijo nada”, afirmó el jubilado de la industria petrolera en entrevista telefónica con La Verdad.

    “Nosotros detectamos que para los años 2008 y 2009 hubo pérdidas de 800 millones de bolívares fuertes del fondo, pérdidas no declaradas por la Junta Administradora. La Ajip tuvo acceso a esa información, pero PDVSA no dijo nada”, afirmó el jubilado de la industria petrolera en entrevista telefónica con La Verdad.

  8. GeorgeS Says:

    From La Verdad:

    Mansión en el capitalismo

    Eudo Mario Carruyo, vicepresidente de Finanzas de Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) y presidente de la Junta Administradora del Fondo de Jubilados y Pensionados de la Industria Petrolera, posee una mansión de tres millones de dólares en la exclusiva isla artificial Brickell Key, ubicada en las costas del estado de Florida, en Estados Unidos, según precisó la página gubernamental del condado de Miami Dade.

  9. firepigette Says:


    When you said,

    “The main problem, Miguel, is in the current financial world: it is increasingly easy to fool the system, at least for a while: enough time to destroy corporations and get people to bankrupcy.”

    It is true that we have this problem of corruption in the financial world but I would not call it the main problem when it comes to understanding what happened in this particular case.

    In the world at large at large there are many crooks who have been successful in gaming the system and stealing enormous amounts of money from investors, but they are still a relatively small percentage when you look at the total market.Also these people are individuals who are working for their own benefit.

    In Venezuela we have the government itself and a dictator’s political party acting as the main source of corruption.In proportion they have a large and growing share of the Venezuelan economy and their main focus is not how to provide services more efficiently but how to steal as much money as possible knowing they are untouchable because of their government support.

    Any person in the Chavez government who is handling money on a large scale can be assumed to be under suspicion just by belonging to a system that is essentially a mafia.

    Typically every time corruption from Chavez’s government is uncovered, it is because some agency outside of Venezuela exposed it.

  10. Kepler Says:

    This “anti-comunista” sounds almost like “Tea party constitution defender”. I thought my nickname was silly, but yours, anti-comunista, indicates you have a trauma.

    Listen, guy:
    Bruni is not nini. She dislikes Chávez and she has been actually very vocal about that. Unlike you or me, she has written her real name all over the place, even if she has been as anti-Chavez as you or me.

    She asks questions not because she gives the benefit of the doubt to Ramirez et alia all the time, but because she is intelligent enough to know we cannot assume everything and it can be counterproductive to accuse someone, anyone, of everything. People like you will always forward the email accusing the government of anything, even if it is “eating children for breakfast”. Chavista honchos are thugs and commit many crimes but people who are NOT like you do not blindly accuse them of anything…it can happen that they did not commit one or the other crime. If someone does accuse them of something and they happen to have a real alibi for that – and that is the case sometimes-, the accuser will actually have benefitted Chavistas. Something like this happen when some rabid Globovision viewers kept telling everything about the “law” that would make kids property of the state.

    Actually, Chavismo is not here just because of Chavistas, because of those “monos niches” you so much hate. Chavismo is here because of Chavista voters, because of CNE, because of oil and also because of people like you, who see the world as Evil versus Good.

  11. jeffry house Says:

    The core question is whether the higher-up administrators “did not know” or instead, knew or were wilfully blind to what was going on. Julio Pacheco makes the interesting point that someone recently decided to discontinue the yearly report on investments to the beneficiaries. Who? Why? What does the paper trail look like? Were losses reported before reports ceased, or did they “coincidentally” begin just when the reports ended?

    Demand a full investigation!

  12. Bobthebuilder Says:

    Chavez’ administration allows a crony to steal worker’s hard earned cash and plays dumb when the story surfaces? I can barely contain my surprise.

    This kind of thing has got so common this story is probably just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

  13. Anti-comunista Says:

    Ok, so Bruni is not a troll, better then. But, if some of us do not use our real names in this fora, it is because we know better than to point fingers at these assasins/thieves/terrorists without protecting our families.

    But Bruni (do you live in Venezuela???), unfortunately, after more than a decade of chavismo, it is hard to be fair-headed. So many deaths, so many broken dreams, so many crimes…

    After 2002, it is impossible to be “ni-ni” in good faith. To give this government even the benefit of the doubt, you have to be either crazy, criminal, allucinating, or suffering from some type mental retardation.

    So, whomever like Bruni even considers a slight possibility that Chavez or Ramirez et al. are decent people you should check yourselves thoroughly…

    About PDVSA’s employee fund, it was historically one of the country’s foremost dollar longs. Back in the day, in one local treasury were I worked, “APJ” was perhaps the biggest dollar buyer. At that time (late 90’s), most big corporate clients were net sellers of USD for investments/acquisitions and only buying USD for normal dividend, royalty or technical service repatriation.

    Why does a rational investor dumps the local currency as PDVSA’s fund used to do? Well, it is the only safeguard againts macroeconomic mismanagement. One can argue that real state or some other tangible assets can work too, but in chavista Venezuela, property rights are frail and expropriation is always a possibility. So, nothing better than to have your capital in good ol’ greenbacks and with mechanisms that allow protection from Venezuelan jurisdiction (not the case with AFP, domiciled in Venezuela).

  14. JulioPacheco Says:

    I am retired from PDVSA. One point not covered here is that we use to obtain yearly reports of investments and returns. for five years this is impossible. We no know what money is in or return, we are just told how much we get. Used to happen, we can see all investments in detail and even ask questions. My pension in dollars is now 25 per cent of 10 years ago.

  15. Miguel Octavio Says:

    Bruni, most public workers in Venezuela receive a pension that is adjusted when salaries are adjusted. Not Pdvsa workers. When Pdvsa workers reitre they leave their prestaciones and their pension is paid from the product on that. It has been impossible to obtain positive returns in Venezuela, you are protecting their money.

    But in the end, it is the Government that promotes this. It mismanages the economy in such a way that it has not enough dollars to run it and needs to issue dollar debt. Nobody buys Bs. debt except banks, and even that is a perverse vicious circle. Nobody saves in Bs. and that will not change until the Government is serious about stopping inflation. If I were responsible for PDVSA money, should have run it in $. You can only get 14% yield in Bs. and inflation is running.

    RR was asked in the AN about this, he said PDVSA did not even run these funds. This was a month ago, when he should have opened the investigation. There was no investigation in the maletin, nor in the FTC case, Pudreval, etc. Lots of noise, lots of cases.

    Anti. Bruni is not a troll, she obviously did not read my first posts on the subject. Pygmallion is. My policy is not to erase comments unless people abuse, I have banned two people from my blog in nine years.

  16. Miguel Octavio Says:

    Pygmallion, it does not matter what I write you disagree, things like you argued and argued about the GDP until you told us the CIA determines the GDP not the BCV and jt is in dollars not Bs. So one line or eight the truth is you come here to be a nuisance.

    I have written more than one post on this subject, you have proven you dont even read them, I dont take you seriously. And you continue doing so, contradicting yourself even and when you are caught, you say nothing and reappear. You dont even take responsibility for what you say. So, yes I have lost patience with you and it is MY personal blog and I do what I want it. If you dont like this, you can leave.

    I have said it before, start your blog, write why you think this is all lies, but not here, because you are not interested in the truth.

    This latest comment shows again your attitude, this is NOT only about the US. This fund committed crimes in Venezuela, it performed foreign exchange operations. These operations go through Venezuelan banks and have two sides. These funds were given to a non-expert by PDVSA people. Why? So, you have made up your mind, I have not.

  17. Bruni Says:

    Anti-marxista. I am not a troll just because I happen to question a situation to understand what exactly this is all about. I pride myself to be an independent thinker, no matter who is presenting me a situation.

    What do you want? A society in which everybody thinks the same and question nothing?

    BTW, your comment above can be classified as libel. It is very easy accusing people and giving names while you yourself are protected by the veil of anonymity. This is exactly what I was talking about: you are creating noise, saying “you bet” for something you have no proof about.

    Internet gives you no automatic right for defamation. Next time you want use your own name, so that at least those people can defend themselves in court.

  18. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, why I find objectable that the pension fund is run outside the country? Because, among other things, it is hypocritical and unfair for the rest of Venezuelans that are not PDVSA workers. The goverment imposed a stupid exchange control, with which I strongly disagree, but it is a control that should be in place for everybody. What happens with the pension fund of the other Venezuelans? I guess they are in Bs. Why should PDVSA workers be “special citizens” just because the company they are working in is the one bringing the dollars to the country? I don’t think it is fair.

    The second reason I don’t agree with pension funds sent abroad it is because, call me naive, I think that goverment and institutions have to help local business, and financial services are local businesses. I prefer that my pension fund provides work to my community and not to some hedge fund smart guy in New York.

    About my previous comment question. It is true that I am starting in the case and we have had lately so many cases here of people getting scammed by their brokers or the mismanagement of company money, that I was wondering if that was not just another of those. So I wanted to know what exactly was objectable from the point of view of PDVSA and RR and I got an answer.

    If I were RR, I would open an inquire, if I were a National Assembly representative I would request a public one. And, BTW, where is the chief of PDVSA worker’s union? He/she should be in the public space requesting an inquire.

    The problem with Venezuela, particularly when it is something related with PDVSA, is that there is too much “noise” and speculation all the time. Then, when something really serious happens, the noise is just increased for a while but none of the actors, from the goverment, the opposition, the workers or the media act according to how they should act in a serious country.

  19. Anti-marxista Says:


    I know you are a man of thought and reason, and thus would like your blog to follow that line.

    But, trolls like “Pygmallion”, “Bruni” or whatever name they use, just want to hijack the comment thread and annoy readers.

    Please do not lose time and bytes answering to those douchebags.

    They never show arguments but only half-baked propaganda slogans picked up from some Eurocommunist pot-head’s blog, or perhaps follow the line of one of the many “sala situacional comunicacional” financed by the regime.

    Ramirez is a first-line collaborator for many of Chavez’s crimes against the Venezuelan people. I would bet his well-known brother-in-law and white-collar criminal Baldo Sansó is deep inside this mess. Carruyo, of course, is the main executioner of Ramirez’s crimes: he is the guy that personally, (really personally!) orders the wire transfers for every cent that leaves or is deviated from PDVSA’s balance sheet. Illaramendi is just another crook trying to make an easy/illegal in the chavista world of organized crime, in person he is even friendly, as everyone who met him can attest…. All this information about these people is not speculation, it is very well documented for whomever wants to look it up.

    As for Ramirez’s direct responsability in this fraud, it is so obvious that we should not waste time arguing about it. The real issue of interest is:

    – How much of the cash robbed was Illaramendi sharing with them? Normally these chavista thugs ask for 70-60% commissions. Forget the adecos’s 5-10% cut.

    – Where has this cash gone to? Where are the accounts and who are the bankers? Nowadays it is impossible to lose track of money transferred electronically: it originated in one account and ended in another, having in the middle gone through many shell companies/foundations/trusts in many simulated transactions. But in the end the money/account is in EUR or USD, in a financial institution regulated somewhere, and has as its “final beneficiary” a Ramirez, a Carruyo or, god willing, a Chavez.

  20. Pygmalion Says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Miguel. Based on what you wrote then no one should comment unless they have read EVERYTHING about this case. Please apply that to other commentators and not just me. But since it’s your blog you can do what you like and treat people unfairly – correct?

    You know as well as I do that this case will be investigated and tried in the US since that is where the fraud took place.

    Finally, go back and read the tone of your four agressive comments to the eight lines I wrote agreeing with Bruni. You really go over the top and some friendly advice would be to exercise some self control for you own mental health.

  21. jurlich Says:

    FTC is Clamens, partner of the one that will be jailed next week and best friend of none other than Francisco Illaramendi. Capisce?

  22. ElGordo Says:

    Y como dice Petkoff, si no fuera por los odiados gringos, ni sabriamos lo que esta pasando. Chupate esa mandarina.

  23. ElGordo Says:

    Si, estos tipos son tan estupidos, que caen en la misma una y otra vez.

    Nadie se acuerda que CITGO y PDVSA perdieron cientos de millones de dolares con un “broker” con capital de un millon de dolares (En Venzuela el minimo era seis o algo asi) en otra estafa que paso debajo de la mesa:

    pero como dijo uno arriba, somos de verdad un pais de estupidos, nos roban todo y los defendemos.

  24. Jurlich Says:

    I forgot: MK fund buys Bolivares at Bs. 8 per dollar (or 9, who cares) PDVSA or pension fund receives Bolivares. PDVSA turns around buys dollars from Central Bank at Bolivares 4,3. PDVSA deposits new dollars in MK Fund. Dollars are sold at Bs. 8 y otra vez, y otra vez, y otra ves. Ganacias infinitas y el pendejo perdia plata.

  25. Jurlich Says:

    More idictments coming.

    These are the same people that decided to buy PDVSA bonds and they curiously rose 10-15% the week before the announcemnet.

    These are the same people that decided to buy the CITGO bonds and they rose 10% the week before.

    That paid a 20% premium for Cerro Negro and Petrozuata bonds, without needing to buy them back.

    Who brought Pudreval to a non-existing store near you.

    Who did ten Antonini trips with 5 million dollars in cash, supplied by Ramirez’ secretary.

    And you still defend them?

  26. AG Says:

    I have been managing money for thirty three years. In the days before the strike, I would sell PDVSA products. They never bought more than 1 or 2 million from me, they never lost money. I would sell them a bond or fund and they would keep it for custody in an insured broker, under their name. I did well, they did well. And now someone defends that half a billion dollars not under PDVSA name, by someone related to them is fine? You are crazy people. No wonder half the country is Chavista, stupidity runs in Venezuelas genes.

  27. GeorgeS Says:

    Let me just ask: Does the Treasurer of PDVSA make so much money to buy his son a Lamborghini or have a 2 million dollar apartment in Miami?

  28. GeorgeS Says:

    You guys are so stupid, remeber Carruyo’s son Lamborghini?

    You know who gave Illaramendi the first bunch of money: Juan Montes.

    Who is Juan Montes, a former employee of the group that managed the PDVSA funds (the lowest one, the only one that remained).

    Where is Juan Montes?

    he was one of the three only people fired from PDVSA when the Pudreval scandal broke.

    It is a circle of crooks and you guys trying to defend them.

    Are Venezuelans such fools?

  29. moctavio Says:

    The SEC said 90% of the fund was PDVSA money. That is, let me explain. Illaramendi had a fund. 90% of that fund was ONLY PDVSA money, he managed 520 million , multiply 90% by 520 and you know how much was PDVSA’s money. If he was such a great manager how come he only managed PDVSA money? Because the other 10% came from people he knew. It does not bother you that they were doing things that were illegal either? It does not bother you that PDVSA offers to put money in the two companies Illaramendi invested in illegally after the SEC froze the money? It does not bother you that Illaramendi went from PDVSA adviser to Fund Manager?

    Are you that stupid really? Or just in your comments?

  30. moctavio Says:

    Pygmallion: Shut up!!!

    The SEC says OVER 275 million is lost, how much do you need lost? What is your crooked number? The SEC also says that a “substantial” amount of the money is lost or missing, but you keep giving credit to the crooks, not to the SEC. Funny, no?

    Read everything and dont speak until you understand, I am getting fed up with you. Bruni, who I respect immensely, is just starting on the case, but you keep coming back with your ignorance and inability to understand any of what you read or even bother to read it

  31. moctavio Says:

    And I disagree with objecting that the money was in $, with negative returns in Bs. you have to protect the workers pensions there is no other way. BTW, to increase the irresponsibility, 50% of the workers money is in PDVSA bonds.

  32. moctavio Says:

    Then you better read up on the case. Illaramendi was not a broker, he was first a Government and PDVSA advisor while at CS, then he became and advisor to PDVSA, then he started his “management” services, essentially a high risk hedge fund and with no experience was given half a billion dollars. He was not even registered for God’s sake, had no track record and no experience managing money!

    Second he sets up a fund in which PDVSA invests to do illegal activities in Venezuela!

    Nice, no?

    Third, he uses money from these funds to invest in something that the fund was not supposed to do, invest in private equity. Of all things he chooses to invest in a company that makes small nuclear power reactors. Funny, no? When teh fund is frozen by the SEC and the small reactor company needs money (There was also a bus company in a similar situation) which had been promised to it by the fund. Who comes to the rescue? PDVSA!!!!

    This is immense corruption at all levels there was no reason for 25% of the pension fund money to be with a single person with no experience . This money management used to be done very well until these guys came and the little that was farmed out was given to well known management firms, not recently created hedge funds that did illegal activities.

    Funny no, 90% of the money in the fund was PDVSA pension fund money.

    If you dont see anything funny in all this then I dont know what will. BTW, Rafael Ramirez said under oath in February that PDVSA had nothing to do with running the pension funds. This was an outright lie, clearly revealed by the document in the previous posts.

    Why did he lie?He also looked nervous while saying this, the only point at which he did.

    Why defend Illaramendi? Carruyo in his memo says this is “mediatic” when he had already talked to the FBI. He said the money was safe, when he knew it was not. Why? Why? Why?

    Why no investigation?

    Illaramendi, I repeat WAS NOT A BROKER. He was not registered, this stinks to high heaven and yes, he did just fool only PDVSA and a few stupid Venezuelans, nothing more. In the US, those companies in charge of sending money Madoff’s way are being asked to pay for their lack of due dilligence and those that did it have been fired by their companies.

    That’s how he bought a 20 million dollar jet in only 5 years of work.

    Finally, this is 480 times larger than Antonini, 5 times larger than the size of Econoinvest, where the Government made a big fuzz and nothing is missing. Curious, no? Orders of magnitude are incredible.

  33. Pygmalion Says:

    Bruni is right. One man was managing this fund at his behest and there is no reason to say that RR “knew everything”. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. We do not know that. I can appoint someone to run my ivestments but I do not know “everything” that they do if they do not tell me until the money is lost.

    Despite Illarramendi plading guilty, we still need to know jow much money was lost – or embezzled more likely.

    Onw question – how do we know that 100% of the pension fund was run by Illarramendi? Where did this information come from?

  34. Bruni Says:

    In this case I don’t understand what is exactly what you reproaching to RR, Miguel. This case is different from the Antonini case. I see it as a case in which a broker cheats on the people that are using his services, in this case, it is a corporation that is using his services.

    The main problem, Miguel, is in the current financial world: it is increasingly easy to fool the system, at least for a while: enough time to destroy corporations and get people to bankrupcy. How do you explain Enron, Maddoff, Norbourg here, even the case of CINAR, here in Montreal or the meltdown of 2008? The financial authorities are just too lax, or the system is too easy to cheat, but something is wrong in the whole financial system. All these crooked financial people have easily fooled the SEC, large corporations, savy board of directors and large accounting firms…who says that this Illarramedi guy just fooled everybody at PDVSA?

    So, of course RR should open an investigation, and I hope he does it. But it is just in the sake of transparency. Maybe there is nothing to be found here except a crook that was able to fool everybody,like many crooks have been doing lately.

    You explained in the last post that PDVSA had something like a panel to follow the fund in the past and that now such panel was removed. I agree that it is a mistake to have removed such panel. One needs more eyes to oversee that type of money, but do you think that it could have prevented this? I don’t think so. When someone is running a Ponzi scheme, it easily forges documents and changes data, otherwise he would have been caught sooner by the authorities.

    What I object, and in that sense I may be parrochial, is that the pension fund was totally managed in the US. That I was surprised. I live in Canada and I would not accept my pension fund to be totally managed outside the country. You need local people in charge of your fund, not 500 millions dollars gone outside the country to a single broker.

  35. A_Antonio Says:

    The trial to Charles Taylor finished in Haya’s court, so there is an empty chair that suits Ghadafy moral stature, and should be Chavez next in the line.

  36. tleon Says:

    La misma vieja canción y el verso, robar a Chávez y sus matones, matar y quitar la libertad de los países la gente y todo lo que se hace es sentarse y se quejan de lo mal que están.

    Por supuesto, esto no impedirá que la mayoría de la gente de sentarse alrededor de este fin de semana de fiesta, beber o ir a la playa, pero no hacer nada para mejorar la situación frente a ellos y el país. ¿Por qué es esto? ¿El pueblo de Venezuela nolonger la menor cantidad de orgullo y autoestima.

    Algunos dirán que no podemos hacer nada porque la Policía y las Fuerzas Armadas nos ataque. Mi pregunta a cada uno de ustedes que utiliza este argumento es que la Policía y militares relacionados también? La respuesta es sencilla que son sus padres, madres y realitives otros. ¿Se va a atacar y entonces veremos cara a que la familia se reúne y le dirá que Chevez los obligó a hacerlo? Creo que no, la familia todavía quiere decir algo en Venezuela.

    Pero como he dicho antes el pueblo de Venezuela no me sorprende en una base diaria por sentado en el culo y no hacer nada.

    Sólo mis pensamientos.

  37. moctavio Says:

    Anti- I agree, it is truly incredible how case after case of corruption related to Ramirez just gets buried and nothing happens. Ethics is a forbidden word here.

  38. jeffry house Says:

    Shouldn’t the MUD at least TRY to have a Committee of the National Assembly investigate this?

    I know the minority Chavista party has a majority in seats, but it would be important to demonstrate that they fear the truth about this stolen money.

    If I wanted to run for election and convince working people that Chavez and his gang are not for interess of the workers, this would be a good example.

  39. Anti-communist Says:

    Unfortunately, it seems Ramirez is untouchable:

    1) He does not have personal power aspirations.
    2) He has made a lot of the “financial dirty work” needed to maintain Chavez’s system of blackmail, bribery and coersion.
    3) He knows many secrets that are potencially catastrophic for the regime: Chavez’s personal slush funds, Iran dealings, Cuba dealings, etc.

    It still amazes me how the chavista systematic denial of dissent makes that even facts such as this fraud is simply ignored as if it were just some “stupid” Globovision-type opinion.

    And, as always, it is shocking to see how after a thousand facts like this in 12 years, half of the population still supports Chavez and his cronies. I definitively need to study social psychology…

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