In any other country, today’s interview in El Nacional (reprinted here) with accused drug dealer Walid Makled, would have raised all sorts of alarms about corruption and graft, but in Venezuela we have become so accustomed to it that not much happens. Neither Government officials, nor opposition members have said much. Particularly disturbing is that those in charge of investigating have said little about the scandalous denunciations and accusations of Makled.
Because Makled makes may accusations, some general, some very specific, but claims to have proofs of payments to important Government officials and their relatives both in Venezuela and abroad.
Makled, who is in jail in Colombia, waiting to be extradited to the US, denies being a drug dealer, but among other pearls he says the following:
-Through then Governor Acosta Carles of Carabobo State, he gave US$2 million to the pro-Chavez side in the 2004 recall referendum.
-He purchased from the Governorship the concession for the Pto. Cabello port storage for BsF. 12 million, he says he gave Acosta five checks for Bs. 1 million and was invited to a public meeting in which Acosta Carles called the money “a donation”
-He accuses Generals Orlando Rodriguez and Cliver Alcala of planting the drugs in his farm.
-He claims to have vouchers, account numbers of Government officials and their relatives, including Ministers, Generals. Admirals, Colonels and five Deputies of the National Assembly. He also denounces General Nestor Reverol, who he says has run his companies since they were taken over by the Government, during which they have generated US$ 140 million which should have been deposited in an escrow account at a Court but haven’t.
-He is asked about the credential from the Venezuelan Supreme Court which he carried, but says that he will talk about that at a future date. Here is what the reporter is referring to, a credential identifying Walid Makled as a “Comissar” of Venezuela’s Supreme Court:
-Makled claims that he has proof of paying off 15 Generals of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, but there are and additional 25 “friendly” Generals that he also helped out “on the side”. When asked who they are, he says: “How can General Nestor Reverol live in a US$ 3-4 million home or that his family lives in Cabimas in a US$ 2 million home?”
-In closing Makled claims that each week he would ship 10 large containers of mattresses, refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, as a “favor” to the military and that the stiff was shipped out to Cuba, without any customs control.
True? False? In between? Who knows. But Makled gives names, facts and to start with, the Venezuelan Supreme Court has to clarify how Mr. Makled had the credential above in his possession and the General Prosecutor will have to investigate where those specific Generals live.
Whats is clear to me is how high drug money is getting in Venezuela. these accusations have become routine. The US has said Generals at the highest levels in the Venezuelan military are involved, but nothing is ever investigated.
Are we going the way of Mexico, but run by the military and foreigners?