We’re a bit late to this story, but in case you missed it, you really owe it to yourself to spend some quality time with Ethan Bronner and Michael Smith’s stunning long piece about Martín Rodil in Bloomberg Businessweek.

A one-time PDVSA intern and eventual Roger Noriega pal, Martín Rodil eventually carved out a highly specific niche for himself helping corrupt Venezuelans who wanted to cut a deal with Uncle Sam find a way to cooperate.

The guy has his fingers in an unfeasibly large number of pies, but the biggest story in the piece is about the way one of his clients helped reveal that Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela was actually being used as a sanctions-busting conduit to ferry billions of dollars to Iran:

The documents Rodil handed over revealed that PDVSA had financed and managed at least three contracts with Iranian construction companies, worth more than $2.3 billion. Of 24,000 units planned, only a couple thousand had been built. The PDVSA engineer was the manager on one of the projects, operated by Iranian International Housing. He’d spent a year dealing with the Iranians. They were tyrants on the job site, and he considered them corrupt and overpaid—the agents of a vast rip-off of his country. “I knew something strange was going on, and I was fed up with it,” he said in October in a phone interview from Venezuela, asking that his name be withheld because of fears he’d be accused of treason and jailed.

The engineer’s great value was that he knew about the money in detail. On his project, his documents showed, the Iranians were being paid roughly $74,000 per apartment, four or five times what a unit cost to build. Prosecutors suspect it was a way for Chávez, until he died in 2013, and then Maduro to move money to Iran.

No wonder Diosdado hates the guy…

75 COMMENTS

  1. The Bloomberg article paints Rodil as a serious player. Others, on this blog, have dismissed him as “a nut case”. I am not sure who to believe.

      • My “gut” says that Bloomberg wouldn’t be taken in by a complete charlatan. However, he could be a “nut case” in the sense that nearly everyone who came of age in Venezuela during the Chavez era has a slightly twisted sense of reality and morality.

  2. Reading this blog for over a year. I need to ask…. is there a Venezuelan that is not a nut job? I mean, lets look at the players. King Maduro – check. Diosdado Cabello, Reverol, Delcy, the Chavista – check, check, check, check, most of MUD. Who is not?

  3. All is not lost for the Venezuelan “nut jobs” perpetrating Iranian/other crimes, and depositing in U. S./related financial institutions–Lame Duck Obama will give them a year-end Christmas Presidential Pardon-to be sent to the Wax Mausoleum Museo De La Montana, with New Years Greetings for all….

  4. The Bloomberg article paints Rodil as a serious player. Others, on this blog, have dismissed him as “a nut case”. I am not sure who to believe.

  5. As most of here agree that corruption should really stop. I like the guy, I actually like his story. He is a role model in true sense.

  6. Well done. Blew my mind wide open. I really liked his ideas. Stunning long piece about Martín Rodil in Bloomberg Businessweek.

  7. Martín Rodil is a serious player in Bloomberg Businessweek.. I am with your opinion and thank for your effort to compile this article.

  8. Martín Rodil is a serious player in Bloomberg Businessweek. I am with your opinion and thanks for your effort to compile such a nice article.

  9. Definitely important aarticle by Martin Rodil…Martin Rodil always shares something special posts….Thanks a lot for your important article Martin Rodil…

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