Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The embezzlement of hundreds of billions of dollars from Venezuela's National Petroleum Company must be undone.

I'm fairly certain that an incoming President Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are both thinking about a nation to invade and stomp on as a ritual proof of toughness. That's if President Obama doesn't already have invasion plans in motion. After all,  he's declared Venezuela to be a national security threat to the United States two years in a row.

Candidate Bernie Sanders has demonstrated an awareness and sensitivity to the history of United States bullying of Latin American countries.  I am hoping against hope that the Berner movement can succeed.  One very useful step that an incoming President Sanders could take would be an offer to assist Venezuela in recovering embezzled dollars. With even a substantial amount of the embezzled dollars Venezuela could be on a rapid recovery track.

Below is a machine translation from the Spanish which I have enhanced for clarity.

Embezzlement exceeds what Petrolero intended as Tax Revenue in 15 years

An unnamed country, a government in the shadows ...

By Carlos Carcione
Monday, 05/09/2016 10:00 a.m.

The volume of capital flight and accounting maneuvers in  PDVSA, Venezuela's national oil company among other things not yet elucidated, is gigantic. Investigations so far made public, offer such a large amount of data for analysis it is necessary to disaggregate, to understand the dimension of Embezzlement operated.

It is not simple maneuvers of corruption. We are in the presence of a mobster pattern of accumulation of capital. In this paper we compare the embezzlement with income received as the state oil contribution to the national budget of Venezuela.
As is clear from the study conducted by the research team of Marea Socialista, (a political party whose background is in the Chavista movement but which has been blocked by election authorities from participating in electoral politics) embezzlement to the Nation by capital flight added to the inconsistencies between revenues and expenses in foreign currency of  PDVSA between 1998 and 2014 exceeds the total fiscal revenue Petrolero (IFP) of the country in MM $ 126.888.- in the same period.
This emerges from a comparison between the amount contributed in dollars and IFP and the sum of capital flight that came under the national government, more inconsistencies in the reports of the management of dollars from the state oil company.
To explain it in more understandable for readers terms we can say as follows: It can be said, without equivocation, that during the period studied (1998-2014) funded the National Budget PDVSA two countries.
One, which is recorded in the numbers that the budget of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is built, to which the oil destination MM $ 348.743.-.
And the other, an unnamed country, with a government in the shadows, without public numbers or records of income and expenses. No known budget. A country that turned out to be larger from the point of view of its economic weight that the Bolivarian Venezuela, which ended up, as if 475.631.- Dollars were allocated a budget ghost were a bottomless barrel, $ MM whose investments and expenses were used, in fact, to fatten the accounts and assets of mafias dedicated to private capital accumulation of illegal or illegitimate at the expense of oil rents manner.
So progress has been stifled for our land and our people for at least a generation of Venezuelans.
However there is a way to recover that effort. If  we successfully put up a great national movement for the realization of a Public and Citizen's Audit, we may put a name on the shadow country, a face on the government and those mafias that seek to steal the future of our Venezuelan people. It will fight to recover the embezzled and punish criminals.

Venezuela is enduring a social, political, ethical, moral and economic crisis that has millions of citizens of an oil rich country that's been governed by people who call themselves socialist since 1998 living with hunger, shortages of almost every necessary item that one can name incuding water and electricity. By subsidizing imports the government helped destroy Venezuela's ability to feed itself as Venezuelan farmers could not compete with the very cheap subsidized imported goods.

The government has opposed United States policies like the Cuban trade embargo, the war against Iraq and Sanctions against Iran, notherwise to mention its closing of Israel's Embassy. These actions have earned the country the support and praises of leftists and opponents of globalization of all stripes. The country did also initiate social programs for the benefit of Venezuela's poor. In light of declining oil prices in part orchestrated by the United States and its Saudi allies Venezuela would have to fall back on what should have been a large reserve fund and domestic production to maintain the well being of its people.  Obviously there is no reserve fund, but a large and ethically questionable foreign debt. Putting upside down and inside out the recommended economic policy that has a developing country protect its own producers from foreign competition.