Corrupt and Incompetent

For Thursday, June 7, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: El Nacional

Early this Wednesday, Madrid police arrested José Roberto Rincón Bravo, son of the corrupt Roberto Rincón Fernández, in an anti-money laundering operation focused on PDVSA funds. Hours later, PDVSA’s chairman admitted the lack of investment on the Orinoco Oil Strip’s improvers, as well as in other areas, attributing all the responsibility for this collapse to “vices” and “mafias” that used to manage the company. Quevedo claimed that they want to make a greater investment to recover production, without offering details of the amounts they want to invest or their origin; he merely said that Nicolás approved resources to start maintenance works on the Petro San Félix improver, which has a capacity to produce 160,000 oil barrels per day. “We’ve identified almost 9,500 wells both in the Strip and the country’s eastern region, that should give us 700,000 oil barrels per day, now this work must be done in a structured way with the effort, with the capacity, with the investment,” Quevedo explained; best not to think about how the work had been done thus far so that he has to make such distinctions. Quevedo didn’t say a word about PDVSA’s inability to honor its payment or distribution commitments.

Strange victory

For Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, three votes out of the 36 of the Organization of American States, is a victory for chavismo. He also said that the 19 nations that voted in favor of the resolution about Venezuela “aren’t countries that stand with their people, they’re corporate elites,” adding that the United States government doesn’t rule the OAS (that’s why each State is sovereign,) and later claimed that they wish “to open a space” with Donald Trump’s administration in order to talk in equal conditions and mutual respect. Meanwhile, Minister Jorge Rodríguez claimed that Almagro is wrong when he says that Venezuela can’t withdraw from the OAS without the National Assembly’s backing, because in his view, the president has that capacity. But in articles 23 and 31 of the 1999 Constitution, international agreements and treaties are part of the guarantees of protection for the human rights of Venezuelans; these rights were attained and renouncing them is massively undermining the rights of Venezuelans, which is still illegal, even if this government is used to do so. Chavismo hates the progressive realization of rights… well, they hate rights and progress, institutions and democratic diversity, they hate anything they can’t control.

Brief and serious

  • Venezuelan authorities released two executives of the American oil company Chevron, arrested in April for refusing to sign a contract with PDVSA. Both were granted a measure in substitution of freedom, the Prosecutor’s Office didn’t offer more details.
  • Lawyer Omar Mora Tosta said that there are still 409 political prisoners, emphasizing that failing to comply with the release warrants issued for many of them: “is a clear human rights violation.” Meanwhile, SEBIN suspended visits to El Helicoide on May 17.
  • NGO Espacio Público launched the campaign #QueAparezcaPedro, for Twitter user Pedro Jaimes (@AeroMeteo), who was arbitrarily arrested on May 10 for publishing the route of the presidential plane. As long as his location remains unknown, his status is “missing”. The NGO insists that there’s no law in Venezuela that restricts the aeronautical information available online.

  • Former mayor Antonio Ledezma denied the statements made by Euzenando Azevedo, Odebrecht’s superintendent director in Venezuela. He said that he never contracted this company’s services during his administration and that he’ll contact his lawyers so that Azevedo “clears his name.”
  • According to journalist Ewald Scharfenberg, there’s been a misleading discussion about Azevedo’s statements regarding financial contributions to opposition political campaigns: “the fact that a candidate receives private contributions is a right and not a crime,” Scherfenberg says, adding that chavismo turned it into a crime because it took over the State’s resources, a part of the ongoing electoral fraud. He urged that the discussion should be focused on how to regulate contributions for electoral campaigns.


  • Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero sees “a small change” in some of chavismo’s traditional allies who feel uncomfortable backing Nicolás due to “his constant denial of reality, of the economic and migration crisis.” He emphasized that “the solution must come peacefully from Venezuelan citizens themselves.”
  • The World Bank is ready to help Venezuela when there’s an opportunity and to offer it all possible resources, said Carlos Végh, chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean. Regarding our crisis, he said that “its magnitude hasn’t been seen in the region for decades.”
  • The International Monetary Fund issued a statement because Venezuela hasn’t supplied key macroeconomic data nor implemented the corrective measures suggested in 2017. The IMF urged the government to adopt corrective measures and release the data, an essential step for designing recovery plans.
  • President Lenín Moreno appointed Álex Solano Moreno as Ecuadorian ambassador to Venezuela. He comes from working as ambassador in Cuba and from there, he supported the ANC’s election. So the abstention at the OAS is more understandable now.
  • Starting on June 11, Brazil’s government will start a census to determine how many Venezuelans have entered its territory, either as passage or residence.
  • Dictator Daniel Ortega announced last night that he’ll meet today with catholic church bishops to establish when talks will be resumed. He said nothing regarding the amount of people murdered, the assaults of his paramilitary groups or the persecution against dissidents.
  • For three days, Movistar Venezuela made free text messages available to their customers so that they can get in touch with their families and friends in Guatemala.

Wanna laugh a bit? Check the timeline of journalist Elizabeth Fuentes (@fuenteseliz) and read the discussion she had with professor Fernando Mires over the love letter Fuentes sent to Foreign Minister Ampuero. I worked out my abs laughing for a woman’s sense of humor before the “scholar’s” coarseness, a man who was also the fiercest fanatic of Henri Falcón’s failed candidacy who, among other revelations, claimed: “Those who fall in love with politicians, actors or any other unreachable figure, it’s because something isn’t working well in their beds.”

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  1. “We’ve identified almost 9,500 wells both in the Strip and the country’s eastern region, that should give us 700,000 oil barrels per day, now this work must be done in a structured way with the effort, with the capacity, with the investment,”…”


  2. “Carlos Mendoza Pottella at the BCV admits that a minimum $60 billion investment is needed to put pdvsa in the black.”

    Let me guess – that’s $30 billion in actual investment plus $30 billion into various bank accounts of the officials involved.

    Still a bargain compared with Jerry Brown’s train to Fresno out here in California.

    • @Another Is There A Go Fund Me Page for PDVSA Gringo.
      I feel for you folks stuck in the Socialist State of California….. Speaking of mass exodus, people are baleing out of California at an unbelievable rate.

      • Tom in Okie – I have lived in Calif most of my life (about 50 years), including college, the last 23 years in Silicon Valley. My wife retires this month, and we are moving to another state (Wyoming) at the end of June. Part of me is sad to go, but the part of me that just sat on the freeway for 45 minutes to go 8 miles can’t wait.

        • @ Another Adios Amigos Gringo
          That’s great news! Am happy for you and your wife and good luck as you begin your new life in Wyoming (Big sky country) .

          • Hope you not are heading for Evanston (I used to work at big Chevron natural gas plant near there. Wyoming is cold – not as cold as Canada (my grandfather lived there). But lived living expenses you can make-it (including the heating bill). Idaho good too. (At least no Devil Jerry three place (I’m including Tom) –

          • Doughboy – We are located just over the border from Idaho near the Grand Targhee ski area (outside of Driggs). Yes, it gets cold there in the winter (elevation is about 6500′ = about 2000 meters), but we will be spending most of the winter months out on an island in the Pacific in much warmer climes (not the one with the active volcano). I actually enjoy a month or two of winter. But not 5+ months of it.

          • I wish you happiness AG, my brother went to school at Wyoming, go Pokes, so I have been to Laramie half a dozen times. It is a desolate place, hope you guys are ready. Enjoy the island, San Juan or somewhere in the Philippines?

          • Waltz, jacksin area (think Tetons) is very different than Laramie. Laramie reminds me of the high plains drifter movie (filmed near mono lake calif). Just desolate and windy. In fact all of southern Wyoming from Evanston to Cheyenne is ridiculously windy. This is because Utah blows and Nebraska sucks.

  3. “Corrupt and Incompetent”

    Adjectives in the right order, for a change. Mysteriously, most Kleptozuelans – Chavistas and else – are surprisingly competent, highly efficient at STEALING in countless Galactic Mega-Guisos everywhere, at all levels. They happen to are sharp as a knife when it comes to hiding stolen property and funds, or devising new, intricate financial and technological ruses to steal some more. Incompetent? Think twice, in each of the millions of cases, everywhere, at all levels of whatever’s left of that ‘society’.

    • Do you really think they are competent enough to hide what they steal? I’d bet they use a small cut of the proceeds to hire out the best foreign talent they can find to do the hiding for them.

  4. Regarding the missing plane spotter, he tweeted twice on 03 May:

    18 and 12 retweets. Why single him.out? He tweeted in real time and his comments show he’s also monitoring ATC and tower frequencies. That’s the threat in the eyes of the reds.

    The takeaway is the regime has an extensive apparatus monitoring twitter and social media to be able to pick this out.

  5. “…he merely said that Nicolás approved resources to start maintenance works…”

    This is what the end looks like. Reminds one of Hitler commanding imaginary armies near his end.

  6. I have not done the math, but am guessing that the 19 nations that voted for the resolution represent more than 95% of the population. Of the three nations that voted with them, Dominica and St. Vincent combined are only 175,000!

    It should be clear to everyone that tiny countries such as these are selling their votes to the highest bidder, without any consideration for what is the “right thing” for the future of the regional block. This needs to be fixed. None of the multinational bodies can function seriously when such tiny countries wield authority so disproportionate to their responsibility.

    • You ought watch the Peter Sellers movie “The Mouse that Roared” how these countries (?) should how should taken in perspective.

  7. I suspect many of the states officially abstaining from voting against the regimes are really states that internally condem the regimes actions but hope to play a middleman role sometime in the future as worsening conditions make it more likely for the regime to seek some kind of arrangment with those that oppose it……., Ecuador is clearly among these ,on the one hand it abstains and on the other it calls for new elections to be held with all guarantees to see if new presidential elections are needed , this is also likely the position of Uruguay ………, standing behind the regime as an honest supporter is Bolivia because not even Nicaragua voted for rejecting the resolution ….., the microstates of the british caribbean dont really count because their clout within the OAS is minimal ……..they can play neutral but they lack the capacity or interest to direct the organizations main decisions forward , they can exercise a kind of passive veto over more proactive members but thats it !!


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