Venezuela: More than 100 “Chavista” Officials Arrested for Corruption

In August, 2015, Maduro announced the appointment of Eulogio Del Pino as the new oil and mining minister on top of his position as president of PDVSA, the state oil company. Photo: menpet.gov.ve

HAVANA TIMES – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Friday that more than 100 top officials of the state oil company PDVSA have been arrested on corruption charges, but he assured that there will be no “witch hunt” in the country’s main industry, reported dpa news.

The officials were put in their positions mainly by the late president Hugo Chávez and Maduro his successor.

“In PDVSA there is a battle against corruption, but the workers can rest assured they have my support to rescue ethics, there has not been and there will not be a witch hunt, those ‘witches’ who got into robbing are well identified and they are headed to prison,” he said.

In a rally with young government supporters, Maduro spoke about the fight against corruption that is taking place in the oil company, which led to the arrest of former oil minister Eulogio Del Pino and the former president of PDVSA Nelson Martinez.

The president acknowledged the support given by Acting Attorney General Tarek William Saab in what he called a “crusade against corruption” in the oil industry.

Del Pino was accused of altering oil production figures and “stealing” crude oil, while Martinez, who was president of Citgo, the PDVSA subsidiary in the United States, had signed contracts to refinance the oil company’s debt without authorization.

The Venezuelan opposition today requested explanations from the government about the corruption plot in PDVSA.

The head of the Comptroller’s Committee of the National Assembly (Congress), Juan Gauidó, said that the opposition majority in the legislature conducted an investigation last year to reveal corruption in the oil company, which was ignored by the government.

“They are accomplices of corruption, they won’t withstand an investigation,” he told a news conference, in which he mentioned that the corruption complaint in PDVSA has to do with an internal struggle in the government looking towards the 2018 presidential elections in which Maduro announced that he will seek re-election.

“In the investigation for corruption, what they want is to wash their hands in a war for political power.” Nobody gives credibility to a country that imprisoned the president of its oil company for fraud and who just weeks ago was negotiating the external debt, “he added.

Maduro announced last Sunday the appointment of a major general of the National Guard (militarized police) Manuel Quevedo as the ew oil minister and head of PDVSA, charged with combatting corruption in the oil industry.

Quevedo, who was Minister of Housing, took his new position this week with the promise of lifting oil production, which has fallen in the last four years from more than three million to almost two million barrels a day.

The oil industry is the mainstay of the Venezuelan economy and generates 96 percent of its external revenues.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    In November in a typical rambling speech which was broadcast as usual by the puppet TeleSurTV on Cuban State TV, Nicholas Maduro made an interesting statement which indicated where he is actually heading. He said that Latino Society is a “Boys Club” and that “communism is patrimonial as is Islam”. Obviously he is endeavoring to install communism to make Venezuela a one party state modeled upon Cuba but also seeks like Cuba, to cosy up to Saudi Arabia for financial support. Dictators love to work with other dictators irrespective of whether they are of the extreme left or extreme right. Both are evil.
    Left wing socialists and communists love to claim that they and their followers are whistle clean and incorruptible. But as Maduro and Chavez appointed many of those who are now accused of corruption, that claim is an obvious falsehood. Similarly in Brazil where Dilma was former head of the oil company reporting to Lulu when he was President. Both now have charges hanging over them. Socialists are just as guilty of corruption as any other members of society.

    • Mario

      Pretty much. Doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, you are still capable of being accused of corruption regardless.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        I agree totally Mario that people on all sides of the political spectrum can be accused and guilty of corruption. It is a pretense to suggest that socialists and communists are not just as likely to be corrupt as any others,

    • Joseph Marti

      Well said Carlyle.
      One factor to consider (among so many others) is that in closed (e.g., communist) societies, where everything (e.g., information/press) is controlled, exposure of corruptions’ incidents and their true extent are virtually impossible.
      In contrast, evidence of Trump’s transgressions and depravity continue propel his “presidency’s” crashing down around his ears.
      My projection, from day one, was that he would not last a year without impeachment; it’s a horse race.
      Has any of this ever been possible with the Castros, Chavez, Maduro…?

    • The same goes for the “free enterprise” guys, which actually means govt looks the other way while they defraud the public. Or in Trump/GOP CCongress case, they “reform” the tax laws to shift a $$trillion from workers to the upper crust, while telling the workers that this is all to benefit them.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Which guklagPittsburgh is exactly what I said when writing: “Socialists are just as guilty of corruption as any other members of society,” Obviously the other members of society are the none socialists.

      • Joseph Marti

        Unless you are some super extra-ordinary economist, you are blindly towing a party line when it comes to the tax reform. Consequently, you might be characterized a “sheep.”
        I don’t believe anyone really knows what impact the end result will provide. Many lawmakers haven’t even read it, much less studied. At the moment, depends on who you choose to listen to; flip a coin.
        Assuming you are accurate, and the “rape” will impact the middle and lower (economic) classes, at least there is a middle class in the US. Care to compare the proportional size and standards of living between Cuba and the US (much less the proportion of “wealthy”).
        Now the kicker: the US has the second lowest marginal tax rate on its labor force (behind that economic powerhouse – Switzerland).
        Surprise!

        (P.S. Seems a bit vulgar to “like” your own posts. [Are you listening as well, Mario?] A bit like public [group] masturbation.)

      • Kennedy Earle Clarke

        Brother Pittsburgh, you are on right path. Any time the Republicans get into power they always enact the Tax Laws to assist their rich friends. It is high time that the working class of the world conclude that the Conservatives and the Republicans are anti- working class and will never improve their welfare. The poor working class man and women are ones who will have to shoulder the responsibility of the wars waged so that the military industrial complexes will rake in the profits. The working class should be able to discover by now, that it is the lives of their.sons and daughters who are the fodder on the battlefield so that the MIC could be enriched. Will Donald ever work in the interest of the workers? Open your eyes working class people!

        • editorht

          Kennedy what do the Republicans have to do with corruption in Venezuela? And how does massive corruption by supposed revolutionaries help the working class?

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Good question Circles. But like your invitation to comment upon another article, Kennedy Earle Clarke won’t respond as answering straightforward questions is outside his somewhat limited comfort level.

  • Joseph Marti

    Maduro is just spiteful because he didn’t get his cut.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Or perhaps Joseph he just wants to silence those who are in the know!
      Like Bruno Rodriguez, Miguel Diaz-Canel and Marino Murillo, he certainly isn’t underfed and is steadily expanding. But as he appears to have a very substantial wardrobe far in excess of those of other international political figures, the tailors just make new clothes rather than adjusting. As a would be Emperor he is certainly wearing clothes and thankfully does not copy the Emperor of lore.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Didn’t Maduro get his cut Joseph? Or is he making sure that nobody talks? Fear is a tool!

      • Joseph Marti

        Valid point!