Skip to main content

The Citgo conspiracy: Opposition figures accuse Guaidó officials of ‘scam’ to liquidate Venezuela’s most prized international asset

Venezuela’s opposition has long accused the Bolivarian government of corruption and mismanagement. But with Citgo on the verge of liquidation, Guaidó’s officials are too incompetent — or too devious — to save it.

by Anya Parampil

Part 6 - Vecchio covers for Hernández amid more accusations of “fraud”

In his own attempt at damage control, Hernández turned to TV Venezuela, a Miami-based news network.

 “I recused myself from this case in March of 2019,” Hernández told the network on July 31.

While Hernández produced no public evidence to support that claim, he circulated a letter supposedly proving the recusal to allies among Venezuela’s opposition.

This letter was signed by Hernández and obtained by The Grayzone.

The letter states the lawyer had “decided to recuse [himself] from conversations which could begin with Crystallex” due to “an independent expert testimony” he provided the company “in one of the lawsuits [it] maintained against the State.

Dated March 13, the document inspired a wave of criticism from skeptics who accused Hernández of deceiving Guaidó and the country as a whole.

Dissenters included fellow members of Venezuela’s opposition like Jorge Alejandro Rodríguez, who initially alleged the letter was falsified.

Rodríguez was so incensed with what he believed was a gigantic fraud that he initiated an analysis of the document’s metadata.

In an interview with Union Radio, Rodríguez declared that based on his investigation, the document had been created not on March 13, as it said, but on the afternoon of July 31 – the same day it was sent out.

It is a shame and an embarrassment,”  Rodríguez thundered to the anti-Maduro radio host, Vladimir Villegas.

Guaidó officials accounted for the inconsistency by claiming the document’s metadata merely reflected the time that they had converted it into a PDF for circulation among Venezuela’s opposition, not the date it was actually written. 

Yet according to normal government practice, a document carrying such importance would typically have to be signed as a hard copy and stamped with the date and time it was received. If Guaidó’s team had been following proper procedure and keeping record according to Venezuelan law, Vecchio should be able to easily verify its submission– but has yet to do so.

Still regardless of its authenticity, Rodríguez views the letter as meaningless.

It says nothing,” Rodríguez told The Grayzone, stating that Hernández’s so-called recusal was limited. “He’s not inhibiting himself from anything, he’s just saying that he will not participate in the conversations with Crystallex,” he said.

Government issues call for respect of the law; they call for transparency, and that is not being done,” Rodríguez added.

In a televised interview, the opposition lawmaker Oscar Ronderos pledged full support for Hernández if he could produce additional evidence proving he had properly recused himself from the US court overseeing the case. Hernández has yet to accept the offer.

What’s more, the letter made no mention of Hernández’s role in the Owens-Illinois case, which is still in litigation.

Most bizarrely, Hernández did not address the recusal to his boss and the supposed president, Juan Guaidó – as any attorney general would typically do – but to Guaidó’s Washington envoy, Carlos Vecchio, instead. 

Exactly when, if ever, Guaidó was made aware of Hernández’s dealings remains a mystery.

The fraud of Mr. Hernández is against Guaidó and the National Assembly,” asserts  Rodríguez. “Vecchio has backed Hernández in all situations, and that is something I also do not understand.

While it is impossible to verify the motivations of Vecchio and Hernández, an explanation of the process through which Citgo would be used to pay back interested parties like Crystallex and Owens-Illinois offers troubling clues.

Source, links:


Related:





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Killing Gaza: Documentary by Dan Cohen & Max Blumenthal shows life under Israel's bombs and siege

The Grayzone   In the feature-length documentary film "Killing Gaza," journalists Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal documented Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza.  Yet this film is much more than a documentary about Palestinian resilience and suffering. It is a chilling visual document of war crimes committed by the Israeli military, featuring direct testimony and evidence from the survivors.  

From RussiaGate to UkraineGate: Route to Apocalypse

Corruption and supposed efforts to reduce it have become a neoconservative weapon of choice with which to operate the controls on the funding sluice gates to acolytes of the U.S.-led international neoconservative empire.   by Oliver Boyd-Barrett   Part 5 - Poroshenko and Zelensky   Ukraine’s two presidents since the 2014 coup, Petro Poroshenko (2014 to 2019) and Volodymyr Zelensky (2019 to the present), each started with strong support that quickly waned. The country has scarcely improved. Gross National Product peaked in December 2013; unemployment has increased from 7% to over 10%; Ukraine remains the second poorest country in Europe per capita. Corruption, the supposed key force behind popular support for the elections of both Poroshenko and Zelensky, continues to be rampant. Kiev’s policies of stand-off with Russia have been dramatically counter-productive and have deprived Ukraine of Crimea and control of major industrial areas of the Donbass. Some 14,000 lives have been taken, 1.

Illiberal Conservatism Comes to Greece

Under cover of the pandemic, Greece’s right-wing government has passed a slew of new measures to benefit the wealthy at the expense of workers, while massively expanding police powers. On the back of a decade of austerity, the latest laws are set to transform the country into a client state and playground for foreign tourists.   by Matthaios Tsimitakis/Mihalis Panayiotakis    Part 3 - Losing Control For more than six months now, practically all of Greece has been under strict lockdown and under curfew. Despite this, a deadly second wave mostly affecting the country’s north hit in the winter, and a third wave is now ravaging Athens, home to almost half the Greek population. Vaccination numbers remain relatively low due to the disastrous handling of vaccine procurement deals by the EU. Even now, the pandemic’s intensity shows no signs of abating. But even with the lockdowns — which offer diminishing returns and feed economic and psychological anguish — the health system remains on the ed

As the Left wins big in Chile, neoliberalism is about to suffer another decisive blow

globinfo freexchange   Sepúlveda Allende, a grandson of Chile’s legendary socialist President Salvador Allende, spoke with Ben Norton about the historic May 15/16 elections in which left-wing and independent candidates won two-thirds of the seats for a convention to rewrite the constitution, which dates back to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.   Allende described the political situation in Chile after the fall of Pinochet's brutal regime. This is an interesting period because it  proves that what happened in the entire West, happened in Chile too.  As he pointed out: When the dictatorship ended, there was a kind of alliance made between the parties that historically had represented certain parts of the old left, like the Socialist Party of Allende. Another that was newly formed in that moment, which had not existed before the coup, called the Party for Democracy, which had (ex-President) Ricardo Lagos, and had a lot of power in that moment. There is also the C

Η φιλο-Ισραηλινή προπαγάνδα και οι ακροδεξιοί "τυφλοπόντικες"

globinfo freexchange   Η μονοδιάστατη κάλυψη των εγκλημάτων του Ισραήλ κατά των Παλαιστινίων στη Λωρίδα της Γάζας αλλά και στη Δυτική Όχθη από την εγχώρια μιντιακή χούντα, είναι εκκωφαντική.  Τα "Πετσωμένα" και μπουκωμένα με κυβερνητικό χρήμα συστημικά κανάλια και ιστοσελίδες, εκτός από τις επιχειρήσεις φιλοκυβερνητικής προπαγάνδας, ακολουθούν καταπόδας την φιλο-Ισραηλινή προπαγάνδα των Δυτικών ΜΜΕ.   Ο δημοσιογράφος Άρης Χατζηστεφάνου, σε πρόσφατο άρθρο του, αποκαλύπτει από πρώτο χέρι μερικά κομβικά στοιχεία της συγκεκριμένης προπαγάνδας:   Τι έχει μάθει τις τελευταίες ημέρες για τις εξελίξεις στη Μέση Ανατολή ένας ανυποψίαστος πολίτης, ο οποίος παρακολουθεί μόνο τα κυρίαρχα μέσα ενημέρωσης στην Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό; Ότι ομάδες «Παλαιστίνιων τρομοκρατών» επιτέθηκαν με ρουκέτες εναντίον κατοικημένων περιοχών του Ισραήλ αναγκάζοντας τις ένοπλες δυνάμεις της χώρας να αμυνθούν χτυπώντας τις δυνάμεις των «τρομοκρατών» στη Λωρίδα της Γάζας. Το γεγονός ότι όλα ξεκίνησαν α

Day 785: Julian Assange still in prison

failed evolution   World's number one political prisoner, Julian Assange, still in high security prison for exposing horrendous war crimes carried out by the US imperialists and their allies.     

The other epidemic killing Americans

People are dying at record rates from opioid overdoses, and harm reduction advocates are asking the Biden administration to overhaul how it deals with the crisis.   by Michelle ChenTwitt  Part 2 - Turning a Corner Though the pandemic has aggravated the opioid overdose epidemic, the Biden administration has signaled a shift in Washington’s approach to the crisis. The massive American Rescue Plan stimulus bill includes a tranche of $30 million dedicated to harm reduction services. That’s a tiny fraction of the $7.6 billion the federal government spent on the opioid overdose crisis in fiscal year 2019. But Beth Connolly, project director of the Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Initiative at Pew Charitable Trusts, said that as the first explicitly targeted federal funding for harm reduction, “ it really is a message and a step in the right direction. ”  The harm reduction provision in the relief package could boost federal support for syringe service programs (SSPs), which provide cl

How Bill Gates impeded global access to Covid vaccines

Through his hallowed foundation, the world’s de facto public health czar has been a stalwart defender of monopoly medicine.  by Alexander Zaitchik Part 3 - The extent and ways intellectual property posed barriers to ramping up production Technically housed within the WHO, the ACT-Accelerator is a Gates operation, top to bottom. It is designed, managed, and staffed largely by Gates organization employees. It embodies Gates’s philanthropic approach to widely anticipated problems posed by intellectual property–hoarding companies able to constrain global production by prioritizing rich countries and inhibiting licensing. Companies partnering with COVAX are allowed to set their own tiered prices. They are subject to almost no transparency requirements and to toothless contractual nods to “equitable access” that have never been enforced. Crucially, the companies retain exclusive rights to their intellectual property. If they stray from the Gates Foundation line on exclusive rights, they are

ISRAEL EXPOSED: Colonialism, War Crimes & The Global Far Right

Double Down News   From death in Gaza to racism in the West, Lowkey exposes a very dark side of Israel.  

The billionaire class is a threat to Democracy

Since the pandemic began, America’s billionaires have seen their wealth skyrocket to an amount almost equal to a fifth of US GDP. This concentration of wealth is morally unacceptable — but it also represents a mortal threat to democracy.  by Luke Savage  It’s by now widely understood that the past twelve months have been a tale of two very different pandemics. Amid the countless stories of human misery buried in monthly unemployment figures, reports of widespread hunger, and tragic (though avoidable) deaths of frontline workers, COVID-19 has been a veritable bonanza for the tiny few at the commanding heights of the hyper-financialized global economy. Recent numbers published by the Financial Times underscore just how dramatic these gains have really been:                               Over the past two decades, as the global population of billionaires rose more than fivefold and the largest fortunes rocketed past $100bn . . . The pandemic has reinforced this trend. As the virus spread