Archive for November 3rd, 2008

The Miami Venezuelan Maletagate trial part XVI: Guilty, guilty, guilty!

November 3, 2008

The jury in the Maletagate trial found Franklin Duran guilty of conspiracy and of acting as an illegal foreign agent in the US.
He now faces up to 15 years in prison and will be sentenced in January
of next year by the judge. Some people began thinking Duran would be
found innocent as it requires a unanimous vote to convict, but the
judge’s exhortations to the jurors indicated that most jurors wanted to
convict.

 

For
us this is simply icing in the cake. Fir Venezuelans the importance of
the Maletagate trial in Miami is not whether they would convict or not,
but more all of the evidence and details that were revealed that show
the depths to which corruption and influence peddling have ballooned
under Chavez and how corruption goes all the way to the top, even to
Hugo Chavez.

 

Because
if the trial proved something is that while Chavez may not be getting
rich, he is quite aware of the details surrounding him, as proven by
the fact that a tape showed that the autocrat had received Antonini’s
letter and the Head of the intelligence police thus acknowledged it.

 

But
beyond this, it also showed that corruption is so ingrained in the
robolution that not one of the names accused by Kauffman in his
testimony is being investigated by the Venezuelan Prosecution, who
keeps repeating that this is simply a media show and irrelevant for
Venezuela.

 

And
Chavez threatens to nationalize Duran and Kauffman’s company Venoco as
if somehow this would represent going after corruption in Venezuela,
while not going after all of those in his Government going up to the
President of PDVSA and Minister of Energy and Mines, who allowed
Venoco, Kauffman and Duran to thrive and enrich themselves under the
umbrella and protection of the robolution.

 

And
this went beyond Venoco, as the happy and wealthy partners got involved
with gas stations, buying five dozen pf them, drilling rigs and housing
for Uruguay under the auspices of the Venezuelan Government.

 

To
say nothing of the commissions they claim to have paid to the highest
ranking officials in the country’s Ministry of Finance, including a
package of US$ 25 million given to a Minister to distribute to his
cronies. Imagine what other deals we have yet to hear about because
nothing is investigated in 
Venezuela.

 

Thus, the media show in Miami has
given us a glimpse of the details of the depths of corruption. The
tales we knew about, they were reported over and over in this and other
blogs, but Kauffman gave us the details, the names and even the numbers.

 

And
to all but the Chavista fanatics, the trial has proven once again,
beyond a reasonable doubt, that this empty revolution could care less
about the poor, about ethics, about justice and about making it right
for 
Venezuela and its citizens.

 

Guilty, guilty, guilty!

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