For 16 years the Venezuelan political regime has grown increasingly undemocratic, becoming a brutal, corrupt dictatorship supported by the Armed Forces. In the process the regime has ruined the country, which is currently in a financial crisis, in spite of having received about $1.5 trillion in income since 1999. Today, the members of the regime continue to steal public funds in an infinite variety of ways. One of the favorite ways is through the imports of food at grossly inflated prices, in order to pocket the difference between the real price paid and the price shown in the import bill. Such is the case of an import of Olive oil from Spain. A Spanish publication called Interviú, see: http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1076060 , reports that the Minister of the presidency Carlos Osorio, one of Chavez and Maduro closest collaborators , signed a contract back in 2013 to buy from Juan Manuel Sanchez, the Mayor of Marinaleda, a town in Andalucía and a “friend” of the Venezuelan regime, up to 12,000 tons of olive oil at a price of 6504 euros per ton. The contract signed authorized the sum of 81 million euros to be employed in such an acquisition. At the time of the purchase the market price of olive oil was about 3000 euros per ton, less than half of what the Venezuelan regime was paying. The agreement was duly registered in Venezuela, number # 19-00029555. Guess who would pocket the difference, almost 40 million euros?
Another example of extreme thievery by members of the regime has to do with the oil industry and I denounced it publicly in multiple occasions. It had to do with the rental by the state oil company, PDVSA, of a drilling barge called Aban Pearl, back in 2010. This barge was owned by an Indian company which received some $358,000 per day for the rental. However, the contract signed by PDVSA with an intermediary called PetroMarine Energy Services (friends of the bureaucrats) was for twice that amount. Guess who pocketed the difference of about $350000 per day?
One more example of corruption has to do with the contracting by Minister Pedro Carreño in 2008 of Venezuelan Identity cards to a Cuban company called ALBET Engineers, with only 10 employees, for about $170 million, see: http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/131126/copei-pide-investigar-estafa-a-la-nacion-por-cedulas-electronicas and https://www.facebook.com/carlosramirezl3/posts/624012441049411 . This company sub-contracted the work with a Mexican company called GEMALTO, for about $40 million. Guess who pocketed the other $130 million?
There are many more such examples, some of which I have been able to document without leaving home, working with my laptop, at no cost to the nation, see: http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/07/19/corruption-on-a-bolivarian-scale/ , but, also, without any action being taken by the Venezuelan authorities to correct them. The reason is simple: if they are the ones who are stealing, how could they imprison themselves?
Not only they are thieves but they are murderers. During the massive protests of 2002 and 2014 dozens of Venezuelan were killed by armed government supporters. The killings of 2002, done by Chavez’s snipers, have been documented in a book by Brian Nelson, “The Silence and the Scorpion”. The killings of January and February 2014 were identified in newspapers and by their relatives, most of them students protesting against the regime.
The killings have continued. During the last two weeks six students have been murdered by the Maduro repressive forces. Their names have been published, see: http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2015/02/23/van-seis-estudiantes-muertos-durante-febrero/ . All of them had participated in protests against the regime in different parts of the country.
The regime steals, imprisons, tortures and kills. And yet, regional organizations such as the OAS, UNASUR, CELAC, keep silent. The few countries that have spoken up against the criminal regime, Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Paraguay, should formally ask the OAS to take action. UNASUR is pretty hopeless, as the organization is firmly in the grasp of the Venezuelan regime, through the efforts of its secretary general, Ernesto Samper, former president of Colombia who owed his presidency to the drug cartels and is now an unconditional supporter of the Venezuelan satrapy.