Habemus Landrieu-gate

I love myself some oil money!

LandrieuOK, so it took a few days, but finally a major political news outlet in the US is following the scandal involving Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and her close, intimate relationship with Citgo’s money.

The website Politico – one which *everyone* in Washington reads – has the story in its lead page. In fact, it goes beyond that. Reporter Byron Tau confirmed than Landrieu’s block of the bill was done at Citgo’s behest. There’s even an e-mail trail! (Thank you FOIA)

I don’t know what will come of this. I do know that I’m mad as hell about it.

(HT: @pettybooshwah)

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. This is the sickest display of power I’ve ever seen coming out of the land of Bolivar. I swear on my mother’s life that I will kick the ass of the next person who dares say the Venezuelan government is incompetent. It’s the purpose, stupid!

    • Exactly…they run circles around the opposition.Whoever is dumb enough to believe otherwise, deserves what they get.

      • They are incompetent from your point of view. From theirs, they are extremely competent. If not, why they have been in power for 16 years? Who really is the incompetent? They are doing what they want, not us.
        We as opposition do not have a plan, we have a goal that is take them down of power. Them in the other hand, have a very well and organized plan to keep them in power. We call maduro “bruto” or “masburro” but we are the real brutos. Chavez was a very smart and intelligent person, he did everything he wanted and Maduro is on the same path.
        We need to stop underestimating chavismo, this people are very organized and share the same goal, we simply not. Opposition just love to attack each other because “I’m the real leader” and the others are just una cuerda de brutos o ignorantes (the two most pronounced words nowadays) because “my plan” is the only plan that it works.

    • They are thieves, muggers, rapists and murderers.
      Who told you that they were good at anything else than stealing, raping and killing?

  2. “Please, don’t revoke my visas, I want to enjoy my ill-gotten dollars!
    I’ll do anything you want! I want to bring my children to Disney World, please! Don’t take Disney World from me and my family!
    Ah, I get it, I’ll give you all the refineries I had in your country if you let me continue insulting you in my little farm while killing people there! Come on, it’s a nice deal, right? RIGHT?!”

  3. Is CITGO immune to a nationwide boycott? This will be a very steep uphill challenge, but not impossible. In the meantime, I invite you to expose @MaryLandrieu with the help of her GOP opponent @BillCassidy. I don’t really care about LA politics at all, but this will definitely send a strong message to other adepts to behave like Mrs Landrieu. Bombs AWAY!

    • “B-B-But we have to vote for her anyways because the GOP are eeeeevil”.

      Christ. And people wonder why no anti-bailout movement leaded to anything.

  4. A boycott to Citgo is a boycott to the thousand of Gas Stations using its brand , these gas stations are not owned by Citgo , they are owned and operated by thousand of independent small businessmen (known as jobbers) who simply buy the gas from Citgo and sell it retail . Boycotting Citgo would mean boycotting these thousand of innocent american independent gas station owners . It isnt easy for them to change brands , they have competitors who would as soon let them go uder . it would hurt them alot It wouldnt be fair !!

    In any event Citgo is up for sale by the govt who needs to money to keep afloat , that will be a real blow to the future Venezuelan oil industry who will lose their very valuable US outlets and become wholly dependent on Chineses buyers. The Citgo Refineries are adapted for maximizing returns from the refining of Venezuelan oils , if a different crude oil is used its operations will become less profitable and thus their refineries much less valuable . the Venezuelan govt cant be relied to keep venezuelan oil flowing to these refineries , it has announced plans to hike its exports to China , conventional crude production is going down and becoming heavier and heavier which presents a huge challenge just to exploit that heavier crude and put it in the market . Thats why there are no takers even if the on sale sign has been posted. Only people fishing for bargain basement prices are likely to be interested.

    The govt wants to distract peoples attention away from the internal havoc created by its failed policies , they would like to have the US govt take any action that will allow it to exploit peoples prejudices agaisnt the mean imperialists and flare up their hatred of the US so as to make them forget their domestic difficulties .

    Their specialty is to turn any action on the part of the US which can be presented as confrontational as an attack on the Venezuelan people ( meaning themselves) and use that to rile up their followers .

    That explains the caution on the part of the US govt in going ahead with the measures agaisnt those regime bigwigs who are known to have been involved in human right violations and other serious crimes , beause it knows the’good’ perverse use the regime will make of such measures to present itself as being victimized and the country’s ‘sovereignty ‘ threatened by a foreign imperialist power.

    Mz Landrieu may be acting from venal motives in opposing the sanctions , not sure however that such conduct is seen by the US govt as necessarily harmful to US interests .

  5. IMO, the whole affaire has two related but different stories:

    1- A Senator who is eagerly responsive to the money that is financing her reelection bid: Dog bites man

    2- An American corporation who is lobbying the legislative branch on behalf of an unfriendly foreign Governement: sorta man bites dog.

    • 1- .. money from a US-based subsidiary of an unfriendly foreign Government that is financing her reelection bid.
      Man bites dog.

      • Correction: .. money from a US-based subsidiary of a foreign petroleum company (PDVSA), wholly owned by the unfriendly Venezuelan Government that is financing her reelection bid, with the promotional help from a US-based lobby firm.

        Man bites dog. Twice.

        • you need to specify how CITGO is financing the Senator. You need to dig deeper and be familiar with local campaign laws and fundraising. You are making unsubstantiated allegations… a fallacy.

          • we’re discussing the ironies, Larry. Simple stuff. Get with the program.
            But do disclose what your panty-wavings, assuming you even have hard facts that you demand of others.
            Thank God for César Batiz, bona-fide journalist at Ultimas Noticias, who blew the whistle in 2011 with his investigative series alleging odd transactions involving Derwick Associates, others following the trail.

          • correction: mention of the Derwick issue was simply tied to another of your panty wavings, below, nothing directly associated with Landrieu-gate.

  6. Oh, you are shocked, shocked that CITGO would be lobbying folks in congress to stop sanctions against Venezuela. Are you kidding me?

  7. OT but maybe related:

    Venezuelan Energy Company Investigated in U.S. — Derwick Associates Is Probed by U.S., New York Agencies for Possible Bribery, Banking Violations

    It appears that the U.S. is pissed off and has issued hunting licenses to all federal agencies. Fortunately, for them, Alek Boyd has already done a lot of their legwork on this one.

    OT completely:

    Traumatized Gazan children arriving to Venezuela this weekend

    Haven’t those poor kids been through enough already?

  8. The monies reported given to the law firms on Citgo’s behalf to lobby against the bill is A LOT OF MONEY for a few phone calls. The law firms made out big time. The Senate failed to foresee this problem and got stung at the last minute. The Senator is showing her true colors. She’s not very bright and she’s not very patriotic. It’s all about her. The Cubans and Bolivarians are good at cultivating people’s weaknesess. Just ask Ana Montes or Eva Golinger. The Derwick investigations are not related to the Senator but the news is timely as the Senator will now learn just what a PR mess she got herself into. I do think Citgo money will find its way into the Senators campaign coffers but if done right, there’s nothing anyone can do. Citgo is not a dealmaker or breaker for the Senator IMO.

    Regarding the Palestinian orphans, there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors IMO. There is ongoing military operations and we are to believe these kids where recently orphaned in the past few weeks? That is very fast to make a determination these kids have NO RELATIVES or NOBODY to take care of them back home. What I suspect is happening is that a few orphans who where already in orphanages prior to the war starting, are being processed to Venezuela to make room for some new orphans and Venezuela is making propaganda out of these poor orphaned kids. What are they going to do with them in Venezuela? Who is going to take care of them in Venezuela? How many kids are we talking about. The devil is in the details.

    • No, the Derwick investigation is not related to the esteemed gentlewoman from Louisiana. However, the Carvajal arrest, the moving forward of sanctions, and now the investigation of Derwick (all coming at the same time) are an indication that Venezuela has exhausted the patience of the U.S. government. A decision has been made at the top to take off the gloves. No more mister nice guy… I expect to see more actions coming down the pike.

    • As for the kids, this is purely a PR stunt. But, what will happen to them? Good question. I have a feeling they may have gone from Guatamala to Guatapeor.

  9. A quarter million dollar retainer with the top law firms in Miami buys me A LOT OF TIME and an entire team of attorneys, investigators and paralegals. Patton Boggs made a few phone calls. That’s all.

  10. A big kudos to Aleksander Boyd. Your perseverance with Derwick is paying off. Congratulations Alek. I believe many owe you an apology including a certain snowbird in Toronto.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here