A sense of scale


Here’s The Economist’s recent article on corruption in Maduro’s Venezuela, in graphical form…

Mardo vs. Ferrominera


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    • En Fonden se robaron todos los millones, millonas y… milloncitos, si, no perdonaron ni a los hijos. Claro, cuando crearon el Fonden había mucha zozobra, aunque ahora mas bien fafalta de todo en Venezuela.

      Feliz fin de semana 😉

  1. This narrative is ridiculous, you floated the idea that corruption in the opposition is too small to matter or that if they are going to be corrupt they will wear red from the begining, very few enter public office with the idea that they are going to skim off the contracts, corruption tends to happen after they get power.

    Money laundering is corruption, the idea that chronology can defend receiving sizeable funds and not declaring them will get you jailed in every single country on earth.

    Every single case of corruption must be prosecuted, regardless of who falls.

    • If prosecutors had time to only go after one law breaker, would you say they should go after a upper middle class politician who skirts exchange controls, or someone who stole a billion dollars from the government?

      In the same sense, would you recommend that US prosecutors focus on putting as many African-American petty Marijuana dealers behind bars as possible, or corrupt politicians taking millions in illegal donations from corporations?

      • Justice should be blind, if you have a shortage of prosecutors get more prosecutors. A big failing in the Venezuelan justice system has been the lack of infrastructure planning regarding peace and security in worst case scenarios, they needed to have 10 times as many prisons just in case, 20 times the number of judges and prosecutors. Yes it is expensive and would no longer be needed if crime rates dropped but this was just wishful thinking.

        • “Justice should be blind”
          Oh, my God! You are so funny
          It just happens that with Chavismo “justice” manages to decapitate with the Justice Sword the least important thief and leaves fine the worst scum.

          • A socialist revolution is always salvagable provided that the right has not installed a murderous dictatorship.

          • Left deviationist wreckers can be just as bad and should be liquidated as well. Pretty much all deviationist wreckers should be liquidated, more revolution for the rest of us then.

          • That is always the prevailing theory, Georgia killed low level corruption but the opposition there still claims high level corruption is unchanged, you can measure low level corruption notice how you guys erroneously dismissed when TI reported only 27% of Venezuelans had bribed someone (in the middle of a worldwide ranking) that is why low level corruption is easy to measure, but high level corruption is very, very difficult to quantify. Here is where TI attempts to do so with perception of corruption but fails miserably and exposes its flaws.

            In the end the oppo leadership current day criticism really boils down to chavismo being soft on crime before, and now hardening up significantly. They were OK with it before.

          • Or perhaps being unhappy with the prosecution of a few people given that a billion dollars was stolen, there is no way more were not involved, or perhaps the fact that those responsible for the corrupt PDVSA food deals were never prosecuted…
            But I guess catching one tenth of a the ten billion stolen just last year counts as being “tough on corruption”. That is unless I missed thousands of prosecutions of CADIVI officials, importers and military officers who signed off on phantom imports that by the goverments own admission sucked up billions.

    • Like corruption of election irregularities? Well, the world saw what happens when someone simply dares to complain about that. The Venezuela government is corrupt to the core, even we foreigners can see that. Next thing you know the military will own factories and propaganda TV stations…. oh wait.

    • “Every single case of corruption must be prosecuted, regardless of who falls.”

      Would that be first in first out processing, then? You see, no one here is suggesting not processing; the post is merely remarking on the selectivity, which is from what you wish to divert attention. Again, your dishonesty shows.

  2. what’s the point? it’s not as if the government is overly prosecuting corruption in one case while ignoring it in another. as the economist article admits, the top people involved in the corrupt practices at Ferrominera have already been arrested: former chairman Radwan Sabbagh (who faces charges of embezzlement, evasion of tendering procedures, the consultation of public officials with contractors, and conspiracy); Yamal Mustafá is now awaiting trial (after …fue imputado por ser presuntamente cooperador inmediato en los delitos de peculado doloso propio, concertación de funcionario público con contratista y asociación para delinquir); and Juan Carlos Álvarez Dionisi, an army colonel SENT TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE IN 2011. the government cannot be accused of ignoring its responsibilities by failing to send out an investigtor; that this investigator ended up extorting from the corrupt managers is a scenario that could happen under any government. moreover, the fact that the $1.2 billion figure as well as the revelation that there is “much more corruption… than has been made public” comes from the government’s own Industry Minister, Ricardo Menéndez, suggests not that the government is, in fact, on top of this case now, pursuing these investigations in an serious and clearly honest crackdown on corruption.

  3. Everybody knows that the corruption cases so far uncovered with much fanfare by Maduro are only the tip of a huge iceberg of foetid corruption involving lots of people still officially in the highest rank of the regime and who remaing untouchable , Pdvsa is a cess pool as are many financial and currency cases which have never been sattisfactorily investigated . The other part that Maduro overlooks is that the regime leaders responsible for appointing the guilty govt officials to their posts and allowed them years to advance their exploits without doing anything about it also carry a heavy burden of blame for their decisions and for their neglect at not monitoring these officials activities to avoid any corruption for being perpetrated whilst in their jobs . Maduros histrionics at revealing these cases after 14 years in power look so hypochritical and farcical that once cant help but laugh. does he really think people are so dumb , that they are going to take his anti corruption protestations seriously.??

  4. The cara e´ tablismo of PSFs posting here on corruption is pretty outstanding, even by chavista standards.
    A government that reached power on the promise of eradicating corruption and frying the heads of corrupt adecos and that ironically took the patronage systems, graft and coimas that already existed to new highs (or lows). After years of corruption scandals that went largely unpunished (Pudreval, Argentinean debt, PDVSA bonds and retirement funds,FONDEN, Antonini, Derwick and Associates, Bandes, Alejandro Andrade) now when they are using their complete control of all institutions int he country to punish dissent under the excuse of punishing corruption.
    Chavismo will never have a serious intention to truly eradicate corruption because that would imply sending to jail many of its biggest fish (Cabello, Ramírez, Cilia Flores, Carreño) and I doubt very much that the people holding the power will ever honestly pursue policies that would put them in jail. Secondly, corruption is one of the most effective control tools that an authoritarian populist government like Chavismo have, you place unprepared and obscure people in key positions, allow them to steel as much as they want, then you have them grabbed by their balls to act on cue (as in the TSJ decision yesterday) if they ever show any sign of independence or you simply order the institutions you control to selectively punish them for corruption.
    Its really bizarre to be accused of having a double standard of corruption by chavistas, at least have the “shame” to admit that you support the government for whatever questionable social policies you like and admit that for its survival it tolerates corruption among its members.

  5. I’m missing Arturo right about now, wondering if he’s carrying Cilia’s bags, while he accompanies her to the airport for her weekend flight to Milan. Miami shopping just doesn’t cut it when you’ve reached a new level of ‘ingresos’. The revolution can be so-o-o profitable for those at the top of the pyramid. And to think that there are those who actually support this.


  6. It just makes my blood boil….what’s even worse is that being corrupt in today’s Venezuela is the norm, not the exception. The message for youngsters is terrible: If you are not corrupt, you are a loser.

  7. Th thing about these corruption cases is that the big fish, those that allowed the corruption are not being accused, be it Gral. Rangel or Andrade and Edmee (Who was promoted) in the case of Bandes. Kudos to Temir Porras who asked the Fiscalia to investigate the Bandes case, as he took charge of that institution. But will the Fiscal do anything?

    Watch the next Sicad be canceled because of corruption next week and you will have confirmation how putrid this Government is.

  8. In a great book I am readin called Monsoon, the author refers to atrocities and out control civil war in Sri Lanka (1983-2008) that tallied 70 thousand killed (in the 25 years!!!!….

    Another one for your data visualizations CC

  9. What I find astonishing is how Quico has yet to cover the corruption case involving Derwick and the ChavezKids… It’s going to air in a U.S. court for crying out loud. What’s the issue here, amigo?

    • The chavista playbook explains this situation rather well, see, If its the expensive wedding of a majunche, neo-nazi, come bebes, capitalista opositor, then he or she probably stole that money from public funds or speculated to gain all that tainted wealth, so they must be jailed even if it means giving them no fair trial. If its the expensive wedding of a proud, revolutionary, socialist warrior, then we should all stop being so much escualidos envidiosos and mind our own business.

    • Most people’s first reaction to reading this bizarre revelation is simple revulsion. But this, however, goes deeper. The weirdness grabs you. Really? Sleeping with a cadaver? It’s paganism. Why not build him a modern stonehenge, light some fires and wait for instructions? This guy’s a loon of the first water. A creep as well.

      • Of course, Maduro could simply be crazy like a fox.
        After all, wasn’t Chávez’s body taken to Sabaneta, where he is now buried, as per his wishes? Meaning, there’s no real body under the sarcophagus.
        Then, there’s the matter of the mistress from Colombia. Her flights are tracked, and they usually happen at the end of the week. That is, after Cilia leaves for her week-end shopping in Milan, following an exhausting M-F public displays of her raised clenched fist. Viva la revolución.

        Nothing says ‘romance’ like a room in the Cuartel de la Montaña.

        • To clarify: by sleeping in the Cuartel de la Montaña, Maduro accomplishes three things:
          He exercises his droit de seigneur when “ya llega la otra”, he respects Cilia by not doing so in their home (after all, Maduro has morals), and he weaves a tale to satisfy the longing for Chávez among the dyed-in-the-wool chavistas — a political necessity as Maduristas dwindle.

          • Syd, he can’t do it in his own “home”–La Casona is still occupied by Maria Gabriela, assorted hija/os nieto/as of Chavez, and, of course, guarded by an elite force, many of which died during the cowardly attack by the Chavez forces on F4….

          • Yes, but the “official” Presidential home has traditionally been “La Casona”–nothing wrong here, peculado de uso, corrupcion, etc.–for our readers, it would be like George Bush Jr./familia still living in the White House months after Obama being elected (and, Obama sleeping in JFK’s tomb-lol!).

  10. Sleeping on a tomb !! Its hardly the thing that a hard boiled Marxist, cuban indoctrinated political agent would go for ( unless he does it to raise political capital among the most fanatical and superstitious of Chavez followers) , still he was for years the goofy devotee of a weird hindu guru,and has claimed that the spirit of Chavez talked to him through a little bird , Definitely the guy’s mind is not so much unhinged as fringe primitive , doesnt speak well of the system or person that appointed him president of a modern country.

  11. the boliburgoise’s logic seems to be why steal millions if you can steal billions, corruption is very bad at any number, but really? 1.2 billions? I can’t understand how or why they steal that much

    • “1.2 billions? I can’t understand how or why they steal that much” You monster! How else are the socialist warriors of the PSUV supposed to pay for their secret trips to Milan if they cant be “rewarded” for their hard, revolutionary work of clapping at government rallies!?


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