Chavismo Inc. investigation reveals the workings of "Bolivarian capitalism" around the world
Issued by Transparencia Venezuela
Based on information from official investigations in 21 countries, a new website tells the story of how money made thanks to proximity to power in Venezuela was transferred abroad, leaving Venezuela impoverished, hungry and in a humanitarian crisis.
What do an apartment in an ostentatious skyscraper on the ‘avenue of millionaires’ in Manhattan have in common with fantasy houses in the paradisiacal Marbella in Spain? Investments in exclusive tourism projects such as Punta Cana in Dominican Republic with start-ups with dream budgets in El Salvador?
How are complex business networks in Panama with bulging bank accounts around the world, connected to companies in Argentina and Uruguay that suddenly and with almost no capital became billionaires? Not to mention the relationship of a failed construction of a mega oil refinery in Nicaragua and the calculated purchase of an agro-industrial giant in Bolivia?
All of this is associated with a common source: millions of petrodollars that left the treasury of Venezuela governed by Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in the last 20 years.
That's what Chavismo Inc. is about. The website is the result of a collaborative investigation by Transparencia Venezuela, the Alianza Rebelde Investiga (ARI) and the Latin American journalism platform, Connectas. Through a series of reports covering ten countries, it shows a network of businesses that lined the pockets of a few, who are now established in a worldwide diaspora that illustrates the international dimension of corruption in Venezuela.
The initiative was supported by official investigations carried out by prosecutors, courts and parliaments in 21 countries. It shows the transfer and destination of money that, in some instances, was achieved thanks to the proximity to power, through advantageous, deceptive, fraudulent agreements, or that were simply the result of sophisticated schemes that facilitated the exploitation of patrimony, leaving the once prosperous oil nation -- which still has the largest oil reserves in the world -- impoverished, hungry and in a deep humanitarian crisis.
At least 86 related corruption investigations have been opened outside Venezuela. According to the information compiled by Chavismo Inc., 52 of these cases account for more than US$30 billion related to money laundering operations. Meanwhile, the institutions controlled by the regime in Venezuela have for two decades made little effort to recover the funds or investigate the complaints associated with them.
Chavismo Inc. presents a database open to the public, the product of a project to track 5,000 people and entities that have been connected, directly or indirectly, with Venezuelan funds. This search produced a consolidated inventory of 751 individuals who are of interest due to their connections with businesses linked to the Chavez governments. Contractors with access to power, former senior officials and intermediaries with privileged contacts have been connected through more than 3,919 interactions.
Read the stories, search the database, discover the cases and their links. Visit Chavismo Inc.: https://chavismoinc.com/
Note to editors
An English version of ChavismoInc.com will be published on 10 October 2020. The Chavismo Inc. project will continue with the development of an interface, known as the Corruptometer, which will soon offer readers an examination of inquiries by national entities in Venezuela, such as the Public Ministry, the Comptroller General of the Republic and the National Assembly. This will identify the amounts lost to corruption in Venezuela and summarise emblematic cases.
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