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From coup leaders to con artists: Juan Guaidó’s gang exposed for massive humanitarian aid fraud

An explosive new report reveals how Guaidó representatives in Colombia embezzled $125,000 meant for humanitarian aid, suckering deserting soldiers and blowing the aid money on luxury goods.

by Dan Cohen 

Part 2 - Constructing an interventionist sham show

It was apparent upon Branson’s announcement of the February 23rd aid concert that the event had little to do with providing relief to hungry Venezuelans. It was a transparent propaganda stunt engineered to destabilize the Maduro government and achieve a long-standing US foreign policy goal.

As Father Sergei San Miguel, a Colombian government-affiliated priest responsible for guiding the deserting Venezuelan soldiers told me in Cúcuta, the successful entrance of the meager amount of supplies into Venezuela was intended to demonstrate Maduro’s loss of sovereignty in front of the global stage and foment an uprising across the country that would finally depose him. 

Branson pledged that his event would rustle up 100 million dollars for humanitarian aid. But organizers had omitted how and to whom the funds would be distributed. On February 28th, Venezuela Aid Live organizers announced they had raised just 2.5 million dollars  – a tiny fraction of the sum they had promised and likely less than the cost of staging a massive production on one week’s notice.

The weekend of the concert offered a preview of this month’s corruption revelations, with several embarrassing incidents involving Guaidó’s confidantes. Early in the morning of February 23, Popular Will party members Freddy Superlano and his cousin and assistant Carlos José Salinas were found unconscious in a motel in Cúcuta. According to police reports, the two had been drugged with scopolamine and robbed by women, presumably prostitutes, they met in the red-light district. After the women made an early morning dash from the motel room, staff found the two men unconscious and called police. Salinas died shortly after being hospitalized.

Days later, another top Venezuelan opposition figure, Lorent Saleh, was arrested in Cúcuta after he allegedly attempted to sexually abuse two women. He was released after figures close to Guaidó mediated with Colombian authorities. Saleh – a recipient of funds from the US government under the guise of “democracy promotion” – had previously been deported by Colombia to Venezuela after plotting terrorist attacks and assassinations in the latter country.

But the revelations of fraud are a new level of embarrassment for the Guaidó coup operation, and threaten to undercut support both inside Venezuela and from his foreign patrons. The fraud scheme was revealed through leaked receipts and documents obtained by Colombian intelligence as part of an ongoing investigation. The receipts Avendaño published show Guaidó’s representatives blew more than $125,000 on luxury goods and personal expenses, including nearly $40,000 on expenses in April. Avendaño has yet to publish all of the documents he received, so the total that was stolen remains unknown.

Source, links:

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/17/from-coup-leaders-to-con-artistry-juan-guaidos-gang-exposed-for-massive-humanitarian-aid-fraud/

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