• The judicial authorities of Switzerland found a connection between the wife and the mother-in-law of the former Venezuelan minister with at least 40 million dollars deposited in eight bank accounts, one of which was shared with one of the main negotiators of bribes and kickbacks between Odebrecht and the governments of Chávez and Maduro. Although they asked the Venezuelan justice to investigate the matter, the courts denied any possibility of addressing the case and the Venezuelan Prosecutor's Office, led by Tarek William Saab, acts as if not aware.

  • 15-04-2018 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The tension between the governments of Nicolás Maduro and Juan Carlos Varela is nonstop. But the surge of trade retaliations from both capitals peculiarly leaves some of the companies that since 2017 provide merchandise to Chávez’s flagship program (the Local Supply and Production Committees - Clap) unharmed. Two of these companies show the profile of opportunistic shell companies.

  • 07-04-2018 |

    JOSEPH POLISZUK

    Neither the revolutionary commander of Venezuela, nor the charismatic president Lula of Brazil, but the senior staff of the construction company turned into the Major Elector when the Brazilian Senate had to vote on the incorporation of Caracas into the trading bloc. Based on the transcripts of the Lava Jato case, Marcelo Odebrecht personally led the lobbying campaign aimed to break the three-year blockage that prevented the entry of the Chavista regime into the club. The operation included the recruitment of three key Senators from the Workers' Party, as allies.  

  • 18-03-2018 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The network of intermediaries contracting with the Venezuelan Foreign Trade Corporation (Corpovex) to bring CLAP boxes seems infinite. In Sabadell, a town near Barcelona, a virtually cash shell company got 70 million dollars for outsourcing the shipment of food to Venezuela thanks to the administration of Nicolás Maduro, which buys the contents of the boxes at discretionary prices and without control. Last year alone, the government spent 2,500 to 3,500 million dollars, but only the leaders of the "Bolivarian revolution" know the actual figure.

  • 11-03-2018 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The Venezuelan government has resorted to a myriad of trading intermediaries to provide imported merchandise for the Claps, its star food aid program. With massive purchases in international markets, it poorly satisfies the hunger of popular sectors while safely feeding the financial flows that end in bank accounts in Hong Kong or Switzerland.

  • In Mexico, there is a long tradition of cheating in the supply of dairy products packaged for social programs. Hence, it should not be surprising that the Venezuelan corruption had found in that country the perfect formula to include in the so-called CLAP Boxes a paste purchased at auction price as cow's powdered milk. For a mysterious reason, ghostly or barely known companies are the ones monopolizing purchase orders from Venezuela.

  • The chemical analysis of eight Mexican brands that the Venezuelan government supplies to the low-income population through the Local Supply and Production Committee (CLAP), gives scientific determination to what appeared to be an urban legend: it may be powdered, but it is not milk. The fraud affects both the coffers and the public health, by offering as food a mixture poor in calcium and proteins, yet full of carbohydrates and sodium.

  • Former combatants of what was the largest guerrilla in Latin America - who separated from the peace agreement signed in 2016 - are in a process of transition and rearrangement of criminal structures, where illicit drug trafficking and illegal mining continue to be the main focal points, now in Venezuelan territory. They have met with indigenous peoples and communities in Amazonas to formalize their presence in the territory, affirming that they have the support of the Venezuelan Government. But they also move to lands of the Orinoco Mining Arc, where they even control coltan mines.

  • 21-01-2018 |

    FABIOLA ZERPA

    As if they were pieces of a broken mirror scattered in many islands around the world, several offshore companies form an oil-trading business network that reveals the trajectory of Alessandro Bazzoni and Francisco D'Agostino. Both of them, together with the Venezuelan telecommunications magnate Oswaldo Cisneros, landed in 2016 in the Orinoco Belt to fill the vacancy of the original partner, Harvest Natural Resources.

  • 14-01-2018 |

    MAOLIS CASTRO

    Even Diosdado Cabello has false followers. The Government of Venezuela has been able to measure itself in political cyberspace. Hence, it has created an authentic machinery of robots at the service of the governing party in social media that is mainly controlled by public officials and coordinated from ministries. This is the result of several studies, testimonials and applications that measure the "Twitterzuela" convulsion.

  • 07-01-2018 |

    KATHERINE PENNACCHIO

    From 2012 to 2015, the truck company Kamaz led the shipment records from Russia to Venezuela. Chassis, engines and a range of spare parts entered the country continuously through the local intermediary J.C. International 2004, C.A., a company where the latest partners are also engaged in the business of meat distribution. For years, the Venezuelan government and Kamaz have promised the construction of a car assembly plant in the country but it never materialized, as well as the idea of filling the roads of Venezuela with vehicles of this make.

  • 21-12-2017 |

    PATRICIA MARCANO

    Their faces have not appeared in any public manifestation portrayed in any banner, or brochures, or in social media. Their names were sentenced by someone with "revolutionary authority" that involved them in a case without conclusive evidence, even with assumptions that even though they were dismantled, that was worth little or nothing to reverse the aim, i.e. to criminalize the protest, frighten the protesters, leave someone behind bars. The official discourse that is determined to ensure that there are only political prisoners in Venezuela does not fit to them. These are ordinary Venezuelans who have ended up as political prisoners, particularly as forgotten political prisoners.

  • 16-12-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    Hurried by the drop of oil prices and the collapse of oil production, Nicolás Maduro bets on the Orinoco Mining Arc as a formula to increase the resources that are so scarce in the national coffers. Under the "joint venture" system, the Government has ended up agreeing with companies insufficiently known in the extra-activist industry, like Corporación Faoz. Among the beneficiaries is Gold Reserve, the Canadian mining company that Hugo Chávez expelled from Venezuela years ago. The Paradise Papers filtering shows that both have registered companies in that tax haven called Barbados.

  • The Mayas, who in the classical era of their civilization mysteriously depopulated large stone cities in Mesoamerica, now, a millennium later, abandon their adobe and thatched roof villages in the Yucatán peninsula at a rate that could be comparable. Every year, over a thousand cross the border into the United States. This time their motives are not a mystery: local poverty and the promise of a better life, especially in California, push them to exodus. The traffic is bidirectional, in any case. While the people march north, back to the south come remittances of money, hopes and new cultural patterns. However, life for those who stay at home is not easy, especially for married women, who submit not only to an endless wait, but also to asphyxiating social norms.

  • 10-12-2017 |

    VALENTINA LARES

    Aside from ethical questions, the logic of a private entity opening an offshore company seems elementary —to declare its profits in a territory where it can pay less tax than it should in its place of origin. But when it comes to a state-owned company like Petróleos de Venezuela, which is not obliged to pay taxes - and therefore does not need to evade them - it is difficult to understand why within its business scheme there is contracting with companies established in tax havens and there is even the creation of their own subsidiaries in these places. What does the Venezuelan public treasury gain from this?

  • The city of San Francisco, in California, is the most expensive in the United States of America and one of the most sophisticated. Birthplace of the hippie movement in the 60's and the current revolution in computers and the Internet, it now can pay a millenarian anachronism, as it is surrounded by a string of Mayan communities. More than 70,000 immigrants from Yucatán -5,000 kilometers (3,106 miles) away- swarm in suburbs like San Rafael or the Mission district. Attracted by what seems to be like a new gold rush, most arrive without knowing a word in English and just a few in Spanish to work as dishwashers and kitchen assistants in restaurants. However, the journey is not only through distance, but through culture, and the clash between ancestral customs and the demands of the post-industrial society, like alcoholism and drug addiction, arises.

  • 19-11-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The Venezuelan businessman quietly established a complex corporate structure until last February the US Treasury Department accused him of being the "front man" of the Vice President of the Republic, Tareck El Aissami. The Paradise Papers leak now reveals that his business assets are broader than those initially blocked by the US authorities and that the island of Barbados was chosen to create a sort of holding that groups the companies with which he participated in the oil and food business, among others, and whereby he was awarded millionaire contracts with the Venezuelan government.

  • 12-11-2017 |

    VALENTINA LARES

    Venezuelan Álvaro Gorrín escaped on his yacht in 2009 after the intervention of Banco Canarias, but he and his board members did not resign themselves to losing everything to the Venezuelan government. Between the support of an influential New York law firm and the expertise of Appleby to create companies in tax havens, the then fugitive from the Venezuelan justice drew a strategy to rescue something from the ruins.

  • More than 550 million U.S. dollars went through the cliff in some Pdvsa Agrícola (PDVSA Agriculture) facilities, which were partly built in four provinces of Venezuela. A new file of judicial documents and bank deposits of the Lava Jato operation -leaked for this report- involve Egly Ramírez (uncle of the former president of the state oil company and current ambassador of Venezuela to the United Nations, Rafael Ramírez) and other former officials in the biggest corruption scandal of recent years that established a systematic payment of bribes to people with responsibilities in the governments of Latin America, so that the Brazilian multinational could win the tenders.

  • 26-10-2017 |

    MAOLIS CASTRO

    In business, the entrepreneurs who have amassed fortunes to the rhythm of the schizophrenic chavista economy stand out. A Peruvian-Spanish citizen has developed a real emporium in the last 13 years. Once pointed out as the potential financial channel between the Venezuelan government and the Spanish political party Podemos, it could only be confirmed that he works shoulder to shoulder with the military and every day incorporates new businesses to his emporium. Atahualpa Fernández continues to gain ground among the entrepreneurs protected by the ruling party.

  • In two countries of "Bolivarian" regimes, Ecuador and Venezuela, Chinese investment has found avid business partners over the last ten years. The Asian giant has injected vast financial resources and resources for infrastructure works into both nations, many of them unfinished. But the other side of the coin is the conditions imposed on the partners in draconian contracts that the Chinese entities and companies have subscribed by their local counterparts. In the height of the 21st Century, the foreseeable power of the future imposes terms and conditions of the 19th Century, like the suspension of labor laws, importation of labor, exclusive use rights, more expensive financing, payments in foreign currency, among other nineteenth-century privileges.