Photo: AP

The Associated Press just published a thorough investigation on Gabriel Jiménez, a dude about my age who’s trying to get Maduro the money he needs.

A chief strategist of Venezuela’s government-backed cryptocurrency is a former U.S. congressional intern who once organized protests against the same socialist administration he’s now helping to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions.

Yes, you read right: he used to work for one of Maduro’s strongest critics, U.S. Representative, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Gabriel came to our office and said he wanted to learn how to support freedom and democracy,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “Instead, it appears he is using the freedoms that the United States provided him in order to help advance the Maduro regime’s attempts to consolidate power and destroy Venezuela’s democratic institutions. Those who work to support the Maduro regime and provide it a financial lifeline have chosen their lot and should expect to face the full consequences of turning against their people.

Gabriel’s work has never been particularly interesting in the actual tech scene — I’d describe it as smoke-selling and shallow-copying other ideas — but he went from a mediocre performer to an outright menace when he stumbled upon cryptocurrencies. Using his bolichico connections, he got close to the government.

He talks of “democratizing” access to global financial system for struggling entrepreneurs and decentralizing Venezuela’s government-run foreign exchange system, which many blame for the economy’s depressed state.

Um, we don’t believe you, Gabriel. You saw an opportunity to get rich and powerful and you took it — 7.6% of all petros sure sounded like a sweet deal! But you knew full well Maduro had no intention of decentralizing the economy or giving up power. He’s going to pocket whatever money he raises, dude. You’re throwing a lifeline to the dictator that ruined our country.

Shame on you.

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