#SeanPenndejo and Chapos running countries

2016 came with good News (capitalised for relevance). One that caught the world’s attention was the recapture of El Chapo Guzman. Another that generated tons of commentary and reactions was #SeanPenndejo meeting with El Chapo. In a delicious turn of events, it is being claimed that Penn’s Tequila-drinking soireé with El Chapo actually cost the drug lord his freedom. How sweet. This reminds of Raul Reyes’ location having been revealed -which led to his death- after talking to Hugo Chavez via satellite link.

Sean “7-hours” Penn is no stranger to controversy. His forays into Latin American issues are inversely proportional to his acting prowess. He belongs to that rare breed of America-loathing Americans that owe every success they’ve had to America. Only because of his success in America, Penn has talked to Hugo Chavez for 7 hours; he has sipped wine with Raul Castro for 7 hours; he “interviewed” El Chapo for 7 hours, after travelling thru “dense, mountainous jungle in a two-truck convoy, crossing through river after river for seven long hours…” Oh, and he repeats with raging gusto, like the amazing actor he is, every anti imperialist script put out there by the enemies of democracy and rule of law, and, indeed, by ruthless assassins he’s infatuated with. Communism in Cuba? An utterly corrupt and absolutely dysfuntional regime in Venezuela? Thousands of assassinations and drug trafficking in Mexico? “That’ll be America’s doing” Penn thinks, while farting, or suddenly feeling fond of his dick.

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Emili Blasco, from ABC in Spain, claims that Penn’s get together with El Chapo started to be arranged in Venezuela, in October 2015, by intermediation of one of El Chapo’s sons. OFAC-designated Kingpin, Hugo Carvajal, allegedly provided protection. Carvajal, a high figure of Venezuela’s chavista regime, stands accused of coordinating “transportation of approximately 5,600 kilograms of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico.” Who was the recipient of that shipment, if not El Chapo’s Cartel de Sinaloa?

Venezuela has become a playground for drug traffickers. Not only has the country been turned into a “global cocaine hub” and launchpad for most of the cocaine produced in the Andean region, but, alarmingly, drug lords effectively control the State. Diosdado Cabello, by all accounts Venezuela’s second-in-command, is widely believed to be the boss of Cartel de los Soles. Direct relatives of Venezuela’s First Lady (Cilia Flores) have also been charged for drug trafficking. This means that both branches of chavismo -military led by Cabello and civilian led by President Nicolas Maduro- are implicated.

When Carvajal was arrested by DEA agents in Aruba in July 2014, the highest Venezuelan officials sprang into action to avoid Carvajal’s extradition to the U.S. When Cilia Flores’s godson and nephew were arrested in Haiti, Petroleos de Venezuela’s American lawyers from Squire Patton Boggs were sent -until it became imposible to explain its involvement and, more importantly, justify use of Venezuelan public funds to pay for such involvement.

These facts will never appear in Penn’s motorcycle diaries though. His world view is as Hollywood-esque as they get. Big bad Uncle Sam wrecks havoc on poor and progressive Banana Republics south of the border, whose citizens have no say, no responsibility whatsoever, on issues that affect their nations. So Mexico has two presidents, according to Penn: the democratically elected one, and El Chapo. Cuba’s “revolution for the people”, otherwise known as the continent’s longest dictatorship, spanning five decades of misery without a single democratic election, an untold amount of human rights violations, and absolute lack of freedom, is not the product of Fidel Castro’s derangement, but a consequence of U.S. foreign policy. Only yesterday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court -on Cabello’s and Maduro’s orders- basically voided any and all legislation coming from a new Congress controlled by the opposition, but that’s not to do with kingpins running the show, no. It’s all to do with folks calling chavismo a dictatorship.

Penn-like “journalism” is a species endemic to Hollywood, State media, and corrupt ecosystems. While he keeps feeding his gargantuan ego with cavalier tales –Robert Young Pelton would be proud– millions of people live subjugated and victimised by his idols. Chapos run countries, misusing State resources without a shred of accountability to advance criminal interests. Penn’s detachment allows for romantic views of reality. His willingness to “suspend judgement” seems the regular travelling companion. In those infamous, 7-hour tours, to chavistas, castristas, and narcoterroristas Potemkin villages, which end up without fail with narratives lacking the most basic grasp of facts, Penn exhibits an almost psychopathic absence of empathy towards the real victims. For who, in a sane state of mind, would at this point dare apologise for Chavez, the Castros, or El Chapo Guzman?

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Mal empezamos Henry…

Debo, en primer lugar, expresar mi grata sorpresa por tu reconocimiento público Henry. No todos los días se encuentra uno nombrado, explícitamente, por el flamante Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela.

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Me parece fantástico que, finalmente, te hayas dignado responder a mis señalamientos, que nunca fueron mas allá de exponer tus relaciones familiares. Mi lucha no es un “problema entre empresarios y comerciantes” (otro argumento Derwick), sino un intento de elevar el costo social de la corrupción, de exponer a los corruptos como lo que son: impresentables, el cáncer que mantiene a miles de millones de personas en el subdesarrollo. Cuando decidiste hacerte eco de acusaciones, carentes de toda veracidad, vertidas en mi contra por los socios de tu cuñado, abriste un flanco que te será difícil cerrar. Me permitiré explicarte el motivo.

La historia reciente me permite concluir que tu ataque no fue gratuito. Sucedió exactamente dos semanas después de que mi apartamento en Londres fuera asaltado por tres hampones. En principio pensé que el objetivo era robarme las computadoras, para descubrir mis fuentes, pero eventos posteriores sugieren otro móvil, más siniestro: aterrorizarme con amenazas de abusar sexualmente a mis hijas. Al asalto le siguió -exactamente una semana después- la publicación, en páginas anónimas, y otras relacionadas con Derwick Associates y el régimen chavista, de una serie de alegatos infundados, como por ejemplo, que mi madre, fallecida en octubre de 1983 en Donosti, comandaba en el 2006 en o desde Venezuela, con mi colaboración, una banda de narcomulas. Lo más grave: de allí nutriste tu ataque en mi contra.

No voy a entretenerte con un listado de todas las cosas que se han dicho, y se dicen, de mi persona. Pero si te voy a llamar a capítulo nuevamente, por cuanto tus palabras, las que tú escogiste usar en tu “impecable castellano”, ese que dominas con “cuidado y precisión”, fueron poco más que una reiteración textual de argumentos que existen solamente en el mundillo de Derwick Associates, y otros hampones de similar calaña. Todos ellos, me enorgullece agregar, sujetos a todo tipo de investigaciones internacionales por la comisión, real que no inventada, de delitos como apropiación indebida, blanqueo de capitales, asociación para delinquir, corrupción, narcotráfico, y un largo etcétera. Me imagino habrás escuchado sobre Roberto Rincón, Abraham Shiera, Nervis Villalobos, los narcosobrinos… así que no redundaré en el asunto.

Pero tu artículo Henry, “Laboratorio sucio“, ése es de tu sola autoría, no es cierto? Te despachaste a gusto: como decimos en criollo, me “diste hasta con el tobo.” Nadie te obligó, ni te forzó a publicar semejante esperpento, así como nadie te obligó ayer a afirmar, por ejemplo, que tu suegro, Franco D’Agostino, dizque “no ha trabajado para el Estado desde el gobierno de Jaime Lusichi, cuando ejecutó la represa de Tirimiquire (Sucre)”.

dayco-pdvsa

Sabes cuánto me tomó descubrir que esa aseveración sobre tu suegro también es mentira Henry? Lo que uno se tarda en escribir DAYCO PDVSA en Google. Ponte al día Henry. Deja de abrir flancos. Una de las empresas de tu suegro, Dayco Construcciones, es contratista de PDVSA. Del 2007 te hablo Henry. Del 2010. No de tiempos de Lusinchi. Si no me crees, visita la pagina web del Registro Nacional de Contratistas, o si prefieres el portal de la propia empresa.

De hecho, hasta información de un pleito legal encontré, entre tu cuñado, tu esposa, y otros hermanos D’Agostino contra el patriarca Franco. Así lo cita el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia:

…demanda de simulación de la venta de todas las acciones de la sociedad C.A. Dayco Construcciones que hizo el padre de los demandantes Franco D’Agostino en su carácter de representante y único accionista de Dayco Holding Corp. (sociedad que a su vez era la única accionista de C.A. Dayco Construcciones), a Luis Alberto D’agostino -hermano de los demandantes- y la posterior venta que este último hiciera a la sociedad panameña Petrodayco LTD, en la que, presumen los demandantes, su hermano es el único accionista.

Cómo se te puede tomar en serio Henry? De mayo del 2012 es la demanda. Asumo entonces que tu esposa era, hasta mayo del 2012, accionista de una empresa familiar que ha recibido contratos del régimen chavista. Qué me vas a decir, que tampoco sabías de eso?

De nada sirve que asumas posturas y esgrimas argumentos dizque aclaratorios, cuando los mismos se tornan en tu contra. Ahora eres el Presidente de la nueva Asamblea Nacional de un país Henry. Abandona el rol de secretario vitalicio de un partido venido a menos y asume con entereza tu nueva responsabilidad. Acuérdate del dicho “no basta que la mujer del César sea honesta; también tiene que parecerlo.”

Estoy a la orden Henry, para cualquier aclaratoria que necesites. Mi peo no es contigo, sino con los corruptos en tu derredor, y si alguna vez necesitas ayuda para exponerles, para adecentar la cosa pública, o para colaborar con investigaciones tendientes a recuperar todo el dinero que estos individuos le han robado a Venezuela, no dudes en llamarme.

Cuba confirma que EEUU sigue dictando pauta en América latina

La administración del Presidente Barack Obama sorprendió al mundo hace unos dias, con el anuncio del restablecimiento de relaciones con Cuba. El embargo, condenado reiterada y casi unánimemente por prácticamente la totalidad de los sectores progresistas del mundo, ha sido sin lugar a dudas un fracaso. Creado con la intención de aislar al régimen cubano logró precisamente lo contrario: aglutinar la opinión mundial a favor de Cuba, cuyo gobierno no tiene un ápice de democrático. A pesar de contar con un récord atroz de violaciones a los derechos humanos, y de gobernar de forma dictatorial por más de 50 años, Fidel Castro, y su heredero Raul, lograron venderle al mundo una imagen de víctimas, en lugar de victimarios. En cualquier caso, el anuncio de la Casa Blanca es, probablemente, la mejor noticia del año.

En el 2008 viajé dos veces a La Habana. El propósito de las visitas fue, básicamente, lo que le costó a Alan Gross cinco años de presidio, es decir, llevarle a los disidentes cubanos computadoras portátiles, memorias USB, móviles, medicinas e información “contrarrevolucionaria”, lease literatura sobre derechos humanos. Afortunadamente, no fui arrestado, mas una vez en la isla me tomó segundos percibir el fracaso del embargo. El régimen castrista ha sido muy hábil en la explotación de su papel de víctima: para el mundo exterior la política ha sido asumir el rol de David, frente a un todopoderoso Goliat que no es santo de devoción en el mundo, si se considera la cantidad de votos de apoyo a Cuba en el seno de las Naciones Unidas cada vez que se presenta el caso. A lo interior, los Castro han usado el embargo como una suerte de talismán: todos los problemas de Cuba son culpa del embargo, desde la tos, hasta los huracanes, pasando por el desempleo, los salarios paupérrimos, la imposibilidad de usar internet, el discriminatorio sistema dual de moneda, la falta de libertades… ¿Que no hay maquinas de diálisis, o sillas de ruedas? ¿Que no hay suficientes guaguas? ¿Que la oposición no tiene representación política en Cuba? Bola asere, ¿que te dejó la novia? El embargo…

Al tiempo que Cuba lleva décadas denunciando el “imperialismo yanqui” y su capitalismo salvaje, alentando y apoyando cuanta nación que adopte discursos similares, o tutelando, como en el caso de Venezuela, posturas dizque anti-imperialistas, ha quedado demostrado que todo aquel discurso no era sino cháchara, por cuanto Cuba abandonó su histriónico e histórico resentimiento en el preciso instante que la administración de Obama le hizo el primer guiño. Igualmente sorprendente el anuncio de alto el fuego indefinido de las FARC, en negociaciones de paz con el gobierno colombiano que se llevan a cabo en Cuba.

Para la historia quedaron décadas de discursos fatuos, cargados de argumentos anti sistema. ¿Será la reciente debacle de la revolución chavista, principal sostén económico del régimen castrista, lo que movió a los Castro a buscar entenderse con los EEUU desde principios de 2012, como informa un editorial del diario El País? Ya en esa fecha los Castro sabían, mejor que nadie, cuál era el cuadro médico de su benefactor, amén de manejar quizás la mejor información del caótico e ingobernable estado venezolano. Para ponerlo más claro, en espacio de dos días el chavismo parece haber sido traicionado por su mas importante aliado en el mundo (Cuba), y por sus socios de las guerrillas narcoterroristas de las FARC.

Pero el entente deja una serie de interrogantes, entre las cuales cabe destacar, ¿dónde queda el “hasta la victoria siempre”? ¿Dónde queda el nihilismo del “patria o muerte”? Después de más de cinco décadas de políticas que han llevado a la ruina a una nación que figuraba entre las más avanzadas de la región, ¿no representa el anuncio de la semana pasada la más clara admisión de lo errado de dichas políticas? ¿Qué decir de las alianzas con naciones igualmente fracasadas, como Venezuela, en intentos de dizque  contrarrestar el poder del gigante del norte y su imperialismo? ¿Cómo queda Nicolás Maduro en todo esto, y la cosmovisión y “multipolaridad” chavista? “Se perdieron esos reales”, dirían mis coterráneos.

Sea del agrado de Cuba, sus protectorados y simpatizantes, o no, el realpolitik termina siempre imponiéndose a la retórica. Gracias Fidel y Raul Castro por demostrar de forma tan diáfana que EEUU sigue dictando pauta en América latina, pues bastó una oferta de restablecimiento de relaciones, y los consiguientes réditos económicos que dicha medida aportará, para echar por tierra medio siglo de experimentos que no cuentan con un solo ejemplo exitoso en el planeta. Una vez que el capital internacional arribe a Cuba sin impedimentos o penas asociadas al embargo, ya se encargará el capitalismo de hacer el resto y devolverle la libertad a los cubanos.

Kazakhstan’s dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev & Italy engage in extraordinary rendition

Nursultan Nazarbayev and Silvio “bunga-bunga” Berlusconi.

Europe seems to be going downhill very fast indeed. Vladimir Putin’s having his critics killed in Central London is not a one of, isolated event. Now we see how Kazakhstan’s dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, gets Italy’s Minister of the InteriorMinister of JusticeMinister of Foreign Affairs, and police’s special forces chief and commandos violate every pertinent law and due process, by summarily kidnaping and deporting from Rome relatives of his critics. This event, in the capital city of a European country let’s not forget, should be a scandal of monumental proportions, shouldn’t it?

Let me provide some context. Despite indefensible whitewashing from Tony Blair et al, Nursultan Nazarbayev is a proper dictator, no two ways about it. Nazerbayev has imposed his rule in Kazakhstan since 1991 and controls the country as his personal fiefdom. Kazakhstan is yet to see its first free, fair and democratic election. Human, civil and political rights are simply nonexistent. But many Western nations, companies and former political leaders are doing phenomenal business deals with Nazerbayev, who is “absolutely justifiably loved by his nation”, according to Silvio “bunga-bunga” Berlusconi. Nazarbayev’s connivance has allowed, in true Russian style, the emergence of an oligarchy: a handful of relatives, appointees, confidants and collaborators have become obscenely wealthy over the years. So there’s Timur Kulibayev, Vladimir Kim, Alidzhan Ibragimov, Bolat Utemuratov, Rashid Sarsenov, Rakhat Aliyev… all of whom owe their ill gotten fortunes personally to the khan. And then, there’s Mukhtar Ablyazov, a once trusted minister of Nazerbayev accused of embezzling billions from Kazakhstan’s BTA bank. So far so Kazakh.

But Ablyazov, as other Kazakh “entrepreneurs”, fell from Nazarbayev’s grace for whatever reason, and fled to the UK, where he requested political asylum. In all frankness, I have no sympathy for “businessmen” that go from selling bits and bobs in market stalls to multibillionaires in a few years. Fortunes of the magnitude of some of these oligarchs can not possibly be made in the real world without complicity, or partnership, of utterly corrupt government officials that give them control of valuable State assets for peanuts, or worse, on credit. So whatever happens to Ablyazov, who, stupidly, fled the country that risked it for him, is neither here nor there.

However, what happened to his wife and 6 year-old daughter in Italy is an entirely different issue. The wife, Alma Shalabayeva, was living in Rome. Legally, on a Schengen permit obtained as citizen of Kazakhstan. Ditto the 6 year-old daughter, Alua Ablyazova. That did not stop 50 heavily armed operatives from DIGOS (Italy’s special forces) to storm the house where she was staying at after midnight last Wednesday 29. She was arrested without a warrant. Her crime? Well, this is where things get interesting.

Shalabayeva’s lawyer, Riccardo Olivo, claims that she committed no crime in Italy, she was not wanted in connection to any crime in Italy, nor was there an international warrant on her. Shalabayeva’s was arrested for being in Italy with a fake Central African Republic passport. That was allegedly her “crime”. But her lawyer claims that Central African Republic Embassy officials confirmed that the passport was legitimate. So the 50 operatives from Kazakhstan’s Italy’s special forces -note special forces; no immigration, customs or regular police- took Shalabayeva  away to Centro di Identificazione ed Espulsione -Identification and Deportation Centre– on the basis of a deportation orderFrom there she was to be immediately deported to Kazakhstan, where she has committed no crime either.

Such expedite and efficient process, this being Italy, is completely abnormal. There’s an estimated 440,000 illegal immigrants in Italy. How many of those are the target of sting DIGOS operations? Why were Ablyazov’s wife and daughter singled out? Further, how many of the “7,944 irregular immigrants detained in 2012” were arrested by DIGOS and had chartered private jets waiting at the ready in Ciampino airport? But this being Italy, those involved in sending Ablyazov’s wife to Nazarbayev missed the daughter, and the law prohibits deportation of the mother without the daughter. So back they were sent by their Kazakh handlers to the villa from where Shalabayeva was snatched, to arrest her 6 year-old daughter, who once reunited with her mother onboard the jet was sent to modern day Genghis Khan two days later, on Friday.

«MACCHINA INFERNALE» otherwise known as extraordinary rendition

Thus describes lawyer Olivo the operation:

«Sono personalmente intervenuto – prosegue l’avvocato – sui vertici della Procura di Roma per informarli. Il Pm Eugenio Albamonte e il procuratore aggiunto Nello Rossi attraverso anche l’intervento del Procuratore capo Pignatone, sono riusciti a bloccare questa macchina infernale. Ma poi deve essere successo qualcosa, la pressione era troppa e la macchina infernale ha ripreso la sua corsa. Alle 18,30 mamma e figlia decollavano da Ciampino dirette nel loro Paese. Dal punto di vista formale è probabile che tutto sia stato fatto in regola. Da un punto di vista sostanziale hanno dato una donna nelle mani del boia di suo marito. Ed è una cosa raccapricciante, di straordinaria gravità».

Olivo claims to have reached out to relevant authorities from Rome’s Attorney’s Office (Prosecutor Eugenio Albamonte, deputy prosecutor Nello Rossi and Chief Prosecutor Pignatone), who were able to block the «MACCHINA INFERNALE» otherwise known as extraordinary rendition, but pressure from above (?) prevailed, and so mother and daughter were sent to Kazakhstan, in clear violation to current Italian immigration law that establish that no one can be deported to a country where they can be subjected to persecution, violation to human rights, etc.

Rendition aircraft used owned by Austria’s Avcon Jet AG

Olivo makes important questions, such as: “who owned the plane? Who chartered and paid for it?” The plane (OE-HOO) used for this extraordinary rendition belongs to Avcon Jet, an Austrian company that has on its board former Austrian Minister of Finance Andreas Staribacher. The true owners of Avcon seem to have gone the extra mile in having the identities of its majority shareholders hidden behind proxies. Austrian press reports claim that “Borat agents” are behind this “cloak and dager” operation, which ended up with Ablyazov’s wife and daughter being placed under house arrest in Kazakhstan. Indeed, this is no laughing matter, as Kazakhstan’s KNB intelligence operatives not only are allowed to operate freely in Italy, and in Austria where their intelligence European central command seems to be based, but all Italian authorities involved are effectively acting as Nazerbayev’s black ops.

In light of all this, it is worth asking: who benefits where? ENI, the Italian energy conglomerate in which the Italian state has a 30% stake, has no small amount of business with Nazerbayev. In fact, ENI seems very comfortable dealing with Kazakh thugs, paying bribes to Nazarbayev’s son in law to get concessions. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that shipping Ablyazov’s family as a payback of sorts is out of the question, would it? But what to say of due process in Italy? What of its debased and corrupt ministers and special forces? How can thuggish communist dictators and its intelligence services operate so brazenly? How can Italian officials violate current laws, persecute and endanger innocent people, and children, with such impunity?

PEPwatch Venezuela: Beware Of Government-Controlled Private Corporations I

Originally published 03.02.06 | One of the most perplexing phenomena for money laundering reporting officers and compliance officers is the government-controlled corporation for profit, a prominent feature of the Venezuelan Government’s recent attempts to launder money. Such corporations are dangerous to Western financial institutions when their officers try to conceal government ownership or control.

When a bank realises that it is dealing with such a company, it knows immediately that its officers, directors and agents rank as “politically exposed persons”. They probably have access to “arranged” financing, public treasury receipts, illicit funds and sundry other corrupt or criminal profits that they can divert to the company’s accounts. The sources of these funds can range from money stolen by the officers of the corporation to money laundered on the orders of government agencies or leaders. At the same time that this happens, the affiliated and subsidiary firms owned by a governmental, though private, entity become high-risk companies in their turn. They require an extremely “enhanced” form of “due diligence” before any bank can accept them as customers.

Towards a command economy

The government of Venezuela currently enjoys high-risk status. Its six-year history is littered with instances of missing oil revenues, the diversion of funds to support and encourage political chaos in the Western Hemisphere, cooperation with Colombian terrorist groups such as FARC and the ELN, and more. Any company or group that the government controls or owns beneficially must also pose a high risk. Compliance departments must therefore insist on treating the leaders of such companies as PEPs automatically. They must subject them to the deepest of enquiries into the sources of their funds, whether in their personal accounts or in company accounts located overseas. Venezuela-watchers believe that the Chavez government is moving the country towards a command economy on the Cuban model and is trying to acquire monopolies in crucial industries that are presently in private hands. In one such area, the production and distribution of food, it is believed that groups fronting for the government are now acquiring some of the major companies.

Not just the usual suspects

The country’s major “agribusiness” organisation is Grupo PROAREPA, which is the main food supplier for the government’s food assistance and distribution programs, CASA and MERCAL. Grupo Proarepa owns a number of companies, including at least one, ALMACENES Y TRANSPORTES CEREALES or ATC. Venezuelan web bloggers and other commentators believe that Adan Chavez, the brother of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, owns this subsidiary beneficially. Adan is the Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba and an avowed Marxist. The group is also closely aligned with Argenis, another of the Chavez brothers. That these individuals are high-risk PEPs is self-evident.

There are several “giveaways” that suggest that the government is controlling Grupo Proarepa. People at the top in Venezuela have used it to cover up a criminal investigation and have prevailed upon it to turn a blind eye to tax evasion. In 2003 they also prevailed upon the National Assembly to vote for a very suspicious credit, in the amount of $ 41,833.702, to subsidiary PROFINCA. At the time, the subsidiary appeared to have no assets. On the same day, the two speakers whose job it was to pilot the relevant bill gave the chamber conflicting reasons for wanting the subsidy. Now, on to the listed pro-Chavez group leadership. The “officers of record” ? i.e., the listed officers, of PROAREPA and its many subsidiaries ? are a curious cast of characters. /Cedula/ numbers are national identity numbers.

* Sarkis Beloune Arslanian, cedula 9280364, born on January 1 1953, is a Venezuelan of Syrian extraction who was deported from the United States and had his visa cancelled on December 6 2004. Such an extreme action generally only occurs when US law enforcement authorities have strong evidence of continuing criminal activity. There are reports that he is under investigation for trading in narcotics and laundering mon

* Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco, cedula 9095496, born on April 9 1965, a Venezuelan who possesses passports under both his Venezuelan citizenship and that of a Colombian with a similar name, whose identity he is known to use. He has accumulated a substantial fortune in an amazingly short time and associates with such members of Chavez’s inner circle as Diosdado Cabello, the governor of Miranda State, and President Hugo Chavez’ father and brothers. A Venezuelan government criminal investigation by the national intelligence agency, DISIP, of FERNANDEZ’S activities was terminated mysteriously in February 2001. FERNANDEZ was being investigated for customs offences and other crimes related to “agribusiness”. He authorised multi-million-dollar deals with PROAL, the government food entity.

* General (retired) Gustavo Adolfo Sanchez Gonzalez, cedula 4115600, born March 5 1956, who was the director of PROAL at the time of the DISIP investigation. SANCHEZ is an officer of American Air Conditioning, a Floridian corporation, as are Fernandez and Arslanian.

Other persons associated with the Proarepa Group, and thus holding PEP status, are Bernard Gerald, Angel Fuentes Fragile, and the brothers, Adan, Edwin and Abraham Easer. The companies that are part of PROAREPA are listed below. There are many of them and they are of recent vintage; only three of them date to before 2000. Because most of them were set up after the advent of the Chavez government, they must all be considered as government entities for compliance purposes.

Venezuelan Government-controlled corporations

1 CORPORACIÓN TUREN.

2 COMMERCIALIZADORA DE GRANOS VENEZUELA R.S., C.A.

3 INVERSIONES MAJAGUAS R.S., C.A.

4 DISTRIBUIDORA LE MUST

5 VENARROZ R.S.A.C.A.

6 FB VALORES Y COMISIONES 1177 C.A.

7 INDUSTRIA VENEZOLANA MAIZERAPROAPEPA

8 VENEZOLANA DE GRANOS RSCA, C.A

9 ALMACENES Y TRANSPORTES CEREALEROS – (A.T.C.) C.A.

10 ROTCH ENERGY HOLDINGS INC. (See note *)

11 AMERICAN AIR CONDITIONING DE VENEZUELA C.A

12 MANTENIMIENTOS CONCRETA S.R.L.

13 AMERICAN AIR CONDITIONING INTERNATIONAL INC.

14 PRONUTRICOS.

15 GANADERIA LOS BUFALOS DEL DELTA C.A.

16 CORN MILLS ANDINA, C.A.

17 INVERSIONES PORTENAS, C.A.

18 GANADERIA EL GRAN CEBU, C.A.

19 GRANOS DE VENEZUELA, LTD., C.A.

20 PRODUCTOS Y FINANCIAMIENTO AGRICOLA ( PROFINCA)

21 AMERICAN FOOD GRAIN INC.

22 SERVICIOS PROARFE C,A,

23 CONSORCIO AGROPECUARIO VENEZOLANO C.A ( COAVE).

24 MANTENIMIENTOS POLIPLAST S.R.L.

25 CORPORACIÓN AGROPECUARIA INTEGRADA COMPANIA ANONIMA (CAICA).

26 MANTENIMIENTOS 2050 S.R.L.

27 DERIVADOS DE MAIZ SELECCIONADO, C.A. (Demaseca)

* This is a Curaçao-registered company that is an authorised PDVSA broker. It is also the vehicle through which Fernandez purchased a 50 per cent stake in Demaseca, a subsidiary of Mexican food giant Gruma.

The Proarepa Group is reputed to have as many as 40 overseas bank accounts, many in tax haven jurisdictions such as Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Cayman Islands. Complinet’s sources say that it focuses its efforts almost entirely on domestic food production and distribution. Why, then, does it maintain such an extensive network of offshore accounts? This should raise a major “red flag” for compliance officers. MLROs and compliance officers should be mindful of powerful private companies from countries where governmental influence intrudes into the private sector, for they may very well be dealing with a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Financial institutions that bed down with corrupt PEPs always seem to have to suffer a barrage of bad publicity. They should therefore demand proof positive of beneficial ownership whenever they encounter suspect companies. This evidence should include sworn affidavits signed by partners of major law firms and accounting organizations. Even then, they should verify the information.

Remember Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco?

Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco
Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco

Remember Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco? The bolibourgeois ‘entrepreneur’ who went from working in a parking lot before Chavez came to power in 1998 to having a net worth of over $1.6 billion in 2005? Well, he fell from grace with the dictator, and is meant to be doing time in Caracas’ DISIP’s dungeons. The poor chap (not) could teach the business world a thing or two: mind in roughly the same time frame Google made $191 million, he managed to amass in Venezuela a personal fortune of $411 million and ‘built’ an empire worth $1.6 billion.

Back in the day when vcrisis.com was popular, Kenneth Rijock, a banking lawyer turned-career money launderer, turned-compliance officer and Financial Crime Consultant, sent me a series of articles about politically exposed persons (PEP):

PEPwatch Venezuela: Beware Of Government-Controlled Private Corporations (Part 1), (Part 2), and (Part 3).

Rijock’s articles identified some bolibourgeoises, namely Fernandez Barrueco, Sarkis Beloune Arslanian, General (retired) Gustavo Adolfo Sanchez Gonzalez, Khaled Khalil Majzoub and his brother Majed Khalil Majzoub, acting as frontmen of chavista officials such as Diosdado Cabello, Adan Chavez and Jessy Chacon.

Some, or all, of the parties mentioned, must be planning for the future without Chavez, and have started to worry about information written by Rijock, published in vcrisis.com, and republished by Miguel at the Devil’s Excrement. Either one of them, or someone acting on their behalf, has been sending me communications, demanding that I remove the articles identifying them written by Rijock.

Just to leave a record for future reference, I shall post here their communications and my replies.

On 8 Feb 2012, at 15:01, Rubin Ferzinger <Rubin.ferzinger@lawyer.com> wrote

To Whom So Ever It May Concern

Admin,

I  want  to bring your concern to a very serious matter .The case have been solved earlier . The link  

hosted on your website contains the content that is defacing my Client’s reputation and affecting his Business and Social Life . Due to this content The following laws has been violated by your website : 

According to Article 17 of the United Nations 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Basis of Liability for Cyber libel

a) Distributor/Publisher Characterizations: One of the most important issues in cyber libel is whether the online service providers, operators of bulletin boards or website owners are common carriers, distributors or publishers.

b) Publishers, such as newspapers, magazines and broadcasters, are responsible and liable for everything that they produce, post and broadcast. Their liability is grounded in the fact that they can edit what they wish to include and exclude from their publication, be it a newspaper, magazine, television broadcast, website or newsgroup. As the admin of this website you have the privilege to remove the page as soon as possible . So i request you to remove the page “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221; as soon as possible,else we will take the required legal action against you .I hope you will understand the seriousness of the matter and take the appropriate step. 

Regards

Rubin Ferzinger

Legal Consultants Full Service Law

—– Original Message —–

From: Alek Boyd

Sent: 02/08/12 10:57 AM

To: Rubin Ferzinger

Subject: Re: Legal Notice(urgent action require)

Dear Mr. Ferzinger,

First of all, I do not appreciate legal threats.

Second, as a lawyer, you should know that the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights is an instrument that protects individuals from the actions of States.

Third, who are you, and, more importantly, who is your client?

Fourth, on what jurisdiction are you planning to “take legal action” against me, should I refuse to grant your client’s wishes?

Fifth, what “case has been solved earlier”?

Answer those questions, if you could, and let us move this conversation along civilised lines.

Cordially,

Alek Boyd

On 8 Feb 2012, at 21:33, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Boyd ,

You are asking about me I am lawyer if you could read the email id and the laws I have putted so that you could remove the article easily.

Now as you have said “I do not appreciate legal threats” let me give you a good answer Mr boyd According to the law, i.e. Article 17 the information you have posted in that article is defamatory.

As you have asked that “on what jurisdiction are you planning to “take legal action” against me”

this is because the article you have posted is not correct at all. All the information in that article is fake and spoiling the client reputation and affecting his business and social life as well.

You better know if you get a warning notice , this mean you should do accordingly, as directed in the email otherwise you might have to shutdown your website, no matter who so ever you are whatever the power you hold, you will be sued and you don’t know whom you are messing with. This will really gonna cost you (Mr Boyd).

I have mailed in the sound of request but you took those words as a “Legal threat” inspite of legal notice. I think you sound like a illetrate one who actually hold the position of website admin to earn money no matter how, your idiotic articles can affects anyones social & professional life.

Oh! thats great “this is how you have ability to earn money”?

http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125”   remove this article from your website otherwise I have to take an strict action against you.” Mark my above words”.

Regards

Rubin Feringer

—– Original Message —–

From: Alek Boyd

Sent: 02/09/12 04:30 AM

To: Rubin Ferzinger

Subject: Re: Legal Notice(urgent action require)

Para la atención de quienquiera que sea la persona que envía estos correos.

Amenazas del tipo, no van a lograr absolutamente nada.

Identifíquese, diga quién es, desde dónde escribe, y quién es su cliente.

Gracias.

Alek Boyd

On 27 Feb 2012, at 14:48, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd,

we do not disclose our client information

The content which is posted on that article is defamatory and We suugest to remove this link “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

other wise show the proof regarding that article.

Regards

Rubin Ferzinger

Lawyer

On 27 Feb 2012, at 18:24, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd, 

nosotros no revelamos información de nuestros clientes

El contenido que se publica en este artículo es difamatorio y Sugerimos eliminar este enlace “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

espectáculo de otra forma la prueba con respecto a ese artículo.

On 22 Mar 2012, at 16:03, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd,

nosotros no revelamos información de nuestros clientes

El contenido que se publica en este artículo es difamatorio y Sugerimos eliminar este enlace “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

espectáculo de otra forma la prueba con respecto a ese artículo.

On 22 Mar 2012, at 16:14, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd,

nosotros no revelamos información de nuestros clientes

El contenido que se publica en este artículo es difamatorio y Sugerimos eliminar este enlace “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

espectáculo de otra forma la prueba con respecto a ese artículo.

si usted siente que mediante el bloqueo de mi correo electrónico de identificación no tendrá problemas para que luego son estúpidos hay maneras mucho para castigar a otros, gente como usted.

Note here how whoever is behind this changes the address and the name of the person allegedly demanding removal of information.

On 23 Mar 2012, at 21:20, ken Rijock wrote:

Admin, 

As required under Sections 512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. )512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3)), we are instructed to place you on notice that:

The matter which is posted on your website is copied from our News website i.e “http://devilsexcrement.com/&#8221;.You didn’t even gone through any copyright legal documentation.The link on which our matter is copied is this

We want you to remove that above link .

DMCA Format

Name : Ken Rijock

Company Name : DevilSexcrement Media Group

Full legal name of the copyright holder : Ken Rijock

Contact email address : Ken.Rijock@journalist.com 

Authorized Copyright Owner : Ken Rijock 

If you want any Assurance regarding the holder and Owner of the copyright my name is written there in the link .I solemnly request you to Remove the above stated URL ‘s.

If you have any query regarding this Please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Regards

Ken Rijock

Senior Editor/ Journalist

Ken.Rijock@journalist.com.

— End of messages —

All emails, whether from Ferzinger or Rijock, were sent from the same IP address:

Sender: 74.208.5.67, mailout-us.gmx.com, United States, Wayne, 40.0548 – 75.4083, AS8560 1&1 Internet AG

Since there is a business and commercial lawyer in New York called Rubin Ferziger -note the last name difference- I sent an email asking whether he was in any way related to these demands, but unfortunately it wasn’t replied.

I did the same with Ken Rijock, with whom I have corresponded since 2005-06, and with Miguel Octavio. Despite alleged claims made in the emails, neither of them is aware of any copyright infringement, as alleged, nor have they been contacted directly by whoever is behind this chavista online reputation management campaign.

To be frank, it is amusing to be threatened by these types. They are so hopelessly clueless as to how the internet operates, and what laws could be applied, that I can only conclude that they are chavistas. In Venezuela, these things are settled rather more mundanely: a couple of thugs pay a visit, give a beating, kidnap, shoot or kill whoever the target is, and that’s that. The elegant way is to fabricate charges and have the chavista system of justice work its magic. But the hilarious thing is that this lot honestly think that they can have their way in other parts, just like they would in Venezuela, impersonating other people, misusing email addresses and blog names in order to scare some poor sod and get their way.

Fernandez Barrueco et al may know a thing or two about stealing a country blind and become phenomenally wealthy in the process. But about how the web works, they are in the dark ages.

Majed Khalil Majzoud

Majed Khalil Majzoud
Majed Khalil Majzoud

Updated 14.05.12 – Further to my previous post about chavista thugs suddenly realising the importance of online reputation management -in a likely post Chavez era- I have been able to narrow down who may be behind the clumsy intimidation attempt aimed at me: meet Majed Khalil Majzoud, an ‘internet savvy’ chavista.

Mr Khalil Majzoud, born 23 April, 1970, Venezuelan ID 13526338, has had an interesting life. In the same way as other Boligarchs -obscure individuals that have become extraordinarily wealthy in the shadows of Hugo Chavez’s socialist revolution- Majed Khalil Majzoud has gone from nothing –quite literally– to:

  • having an interest in Serfoca, a partner of Venezuela’s CVG, appointed to develop an “industrial project (Orinoco Paper Mill Project) for the integral processing of [500,000 hectares of] Caribbean pine wood”;
  • getting another $5 million –gone missing apparently– to provide a technology platform to Venezuela’s Defence Ministry;
  • having a controlling interest in Pacific Rim Energy, a company that has been granted millions by the Chavez regime -and by Evo Morales- for various energy projects;
  • having a controlling interest in Eveba, while stressing that influence of “mafias have decreased” in Venezuela…

I’m sure there’s more. In any case, of all the people mentioned in the articles that are causing concern to unnamed parties, Majed Khalil Majzoud is the only one who has been having his information posted in hundreds of websites lately. Do check it out, there’s 475 results published since someone -presumably on his behalf- demanded on 8 February that I deleted information from his dodgy past. Although the effort may also be related to his own problems -and those of his brother Khaled- with chavista justice (see herehere, and here).

In addition to that, a Majed Khalil -or someone in his stead- has registered .com, .net, .biz, .org, and .me domains, and is loading those sites with totally-unrelated-to-Venezuela content -despite some of it being in Spanish- to cover his tracks.

Lame, lame…

Update: a trusted reader informs us that Majed Khalil is the bagman of General Francisco Rangel Gomez, former president of aluminium and mining giant Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG), current Governor of Bolivar state. Hence his deals with CVG. Majed Khalil is also a partner -and best man- of Lieutenant Antonio José Morales Rodríguez (aka “el catre”), godson and aide-de-camp of Hugo Chavez and one of his most trusted men. Morales is currently director of the office of the Secretary of Venezuela’s Presidency. Morales has recently been fingered by former Supreme Court Judge Eladio Aponte Aponte as one of the men who ordered him to free an army drug trafficker (Pedro Magino) caught with 2 tonnes of cocaine in Venezuela.