The Maletagate case gets ever more interesting despite the denials, charges of “infamy” and “agression” by Venezuela and Argentina. The truth is that the case gets more sordid by the minute and denials only get the two Governments in deeper in the mud, for lackof a dirtier word that Chavez likes, of the cesspool of corruption they created.
Among the most recent developments:
—The fifth man which was not captured by the FBI Antonio Canchica, is a member of Venezuela’s intelligence police DISIP. At least one more of the men captured had DISIP credentials when detained by the FBI.
—The most important charge was the fact that they were acting as agents of a foreign country, Venezuela, without registering with the authorities. A very undiplomatic and politically incorrect Hugo Chavez said he had agents spying for him in the US, but none of the ones captured were his “people”. Thus, he is admitting the crime these people are being charged with is correct, in that Venezuela has unregistered foreign agents in the US. I guess Chavez did not know about these ones then.
—The Governor of Cojedes State, Jhony Yanes, held a press conference at which he said this was terror by the US and that Antonini did not commit any crime by bringing in the suitcase into Argentina. I guess he has not read the Foreign Exchange Illegalities Bill, old or new, which does classify exporting from Venezuela more than US$ 10,000 as a crime. Yanez did not comment on the coincidence that it was Carlos Kaufmann, detained in Miami, that paid his vacation at the Llao Llao Hotel in August as proven by reporter Leocenis Garcia.
—Today in Argentina’s Parliament, Deputies from the opposition were asking who authorized these flights to arrive in the middle of the night from abroad. According to them, that airport is never used for these international flights and its use could only be justified to hide their purpose.
—And in the most explosive charge today, the Secretary of Claudio Uberti, the Czar of toll roads in Argentina, who was considered to be a second parallel Argentinean Ambassador to Venezuela and who came on the plane with Antonini and the suitcase, reportedly testified that on August 6th.two days after the suitcase was discovered, Antonini went to Argentina’s Casa Rosada. The Casa Rosada is the Presidential Palace and this lady claims that she saw Antonini there at teh same time that Nestor Kirchner and Hugo Chavez were holding a small ceremony to celebrate the signing of a gas agreement. The son of the PDVSA President David Uzcategui, who was also on the plane was also reported to be there. Uberti is the only Government official of either country who has been removed.
—And now we have Maletagate II, the military officer and Bandes official who jumped from a Venezuelan military airplane in Bolivia with a suitcase which had over US$ 800,000 in cash, in another sign of the levels of corruption in Venezuela. The man claimed that the money was for “development projects”.
Here is the video