Odebrecht's Corrupt Millions Paid for Chávez's Last Campaign

The next time a first world lefty starts ranting about how Chávez stood up to foreign meddling, remind him a crooked foreign contractor pretty much paid for his last campaign.

By now, you’ve heard about Odebrecht’s amazingly sophisticated bribing operation in multiple countries, which included $98 million in bribes to Venezuelan government officials. Unfortunately, the Plea Bargain announcement didn’t specify who was on the receiving end of that gravy train.

But thanks to some investigative work by Joseph Poliszuk and Ewald Scharfenberg from the news site Armando.Info, along with Peruvian website IDL-Reporteros.pe and Panamanian newspaper La Prensa, now we have more of an idea:

Read it while it’s hot:

[In a Brazilian Federal court in Curitiba] you can find, on record, the testimonies of campaign adviser Joao Santana and his wife Monica Moura, who helped with Chavez’s re-election campaign in 2012…

“The cost of that campaign was approximately 35 million dollars,” said Moura in her court testimony dated February 24th of this year. The money came into the global financial system from accounts established in the Heritage Bank of Antigua & Barbuda belonging to offshore companies like Klienfeld Services and Shellbill Finance SA, corporate front used by odebrecht in its bribe circuit.

…Santana was one of the advisers that helped brand Nicolas Maduro as “the son of Chávez”. Now it’s become known that his advice work included (at least in 2012) funds that came from Odebrecht’s “Division of Structured Operations”, which helped the company win in Venezuela 32 the right to do 32 of the most emblematic public works…

“Those were unaccounted payments to the Chavez campaign, under the direct responsibility of Fernando Migliaccio, an Odebrecht executive in Brazil”, said Moura, who administered her husband’s campaign works.

The article doesn’t really specify how much of the $35 million campaign contract Odebrecht picked up. It seems like the company helped channeling the funds to pay Joao Santana’s role in the campaign. Details remain a little sketchy. 

Sketchier still is Santana’s role in shaping Chavez’s campaign. Matter of fact, it was the subject of my second ever post here at Caracas Chronicles. And Odebrecht had a huge stake in Venezuela at the time. But let’s not forget: the Bolivarian Republic used all resources at its disposal to ensure Chavez won that election. Don’t believe me? Ask Jorge Giordani.

Of course, this should lead Venezuela to launch an impartial investigat… ah, screw it, you and I both know it won’t happen.