(Este post en español aquí)
And I can’t help but be surprised by Chavez’ generosity in giving the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, infamous for hosting Sir Allen Stanford and his Ponzi bank for so many years, to the detriment of so many middle class Venezuelans. We all know Chavez likes to throw around his influence around, but Antigua getting US$ 50 million is simply too fishy to pass up.
First of all, it seems overly generous. Second, Venezuelans getting ripped off by Stanford was due in large part to the Venezuela’s Government laxity in allowing Stanford International Bank to operate at will in Venezuela. In fact, it was the Chavez administration that authorized Stanford to acquire a local banking license that allowed its operations to get respectability and grow in Venezuela. Despite this, the Venezuelan Government has not assumed any responsibility in the swindle and there were clearly ties that were simply too close for comfort between Stanford International bank, the local Stanford Bank and the Chavez administration.
But last but not least, there were persistent rumors that the Venezuelan Government sent two jet planes to the island of Antigua as Stanford International Bankwas unraveling. Clearly, there was no hope of recovering the money owned by robolutionaries, but at that early stage, all they wanted, including apparently Chavez’ own brother, was to have their names erased from the database. Reportedly even the man in charge of dirty tricks, General Carvajal went to the small Caribbean island in one of those planes.
So, a few months later Chavez gives Antigua and Barbuda US$ 50 million, more than it has ever given Haiti, a country that truly needs it. Hard to believe there is no connection between “favors” received and this payoff by rich uncle Scrooge Mac Hugo.