• 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.

  • 05-11-2017 |

    ARMANDO.INFO

    The member of the US Cabinet, Wilbur Ross, is one of the owners of a company that provides maritime transport services to Pdvsa, a client that in 2015 contributed over 11 percent of the profits to his shipping company. Although the official had to get rid of his mercantile properties to hold his position, he kept a participation in that line of business through a complex offshore structure in the Cayman Islands. Thus, he did not only do business with chavista Venezuela, but also with an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both countries are subject to economic sanctions by Washington.

  • 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.

  • Odebrecht was not the only one. Four companies were awarded a dozen works to build large infrastructures in Argentina, nearly always using the gimmick of an attractive quote and the accompanying financing by a Brazilian state development bank. However, they subcontracted other providers afterward and, with the projects already in progress, the costs increased and the Argentine State ended up providing the funds, over US$ 9,000 million, of which an average of 300 million per work corresponded to surcharges. In addition, today many of the projects remain unfinished. The pattern would be used by Brazilian construction companies in other Latin American markets.

  • 01-10-2017 |

    PATRICIA MARCANO

    Mundo Digital USA, a company created in Florida, and related to another company based in Madrid, is using almost all the Venezuelan musical heritage after a suspicious and unclear operation. This is a situation derived from the paradigm change of consumption of songs and a certain indifference on behalf of the main record labels and those in charge of their labels, who failed to notice ahead of time the changes bequeathed by technology. The affected - singers, composers - remain the usual victims. The money they should receive for their creations arrives incomplete and sometimes it never does at all.

  • 24-09-2017 |

    DAVID PLACER

    Armando.info publishes an excerpt from the extended edition of “Los brujos de Chávez” (Chávez’s warlocks and witches), the lauded book by David Placer, a Venezuelan journalist based in Spain, published in Venezuela by the publishing company Editorial Dahbar. The chronicle shows what could be the highlight of the Chavista Santeria, the exhumation of the remains of Simón Bolívar, ordered by the late president commander because he was determined to prove that the Liberator had been poisoned in San Pedro Alejandrino. From there, Placer cites episodes and talks with witnesses in Miami and Caracas, who claim that Chávez became a santero (practitioner of Santeria) before assuming the presidency for the first time in 1999. With his research, Placer completed a deliberately hidden aspect of the volcanic life of the leader of the Bolivarian process.

  • 21-09-2017 |

    KATHERINE PENNACCHIO

    In Venezuela, less than fifty military officers are entrusted the mission of administering justice to their military counterparts. But as the Government of Nicolás Maduro sends more political dissidents and insubordinate civilians to be tried in that jurisdiction the weakest flanks of a lodge of judges arbitrarily appointed by the Ministry of Defense, who have unclear merits and a clear willingness to follow orders, are more evident.

  • 17-09-2017 |

    PATRICIA MARCANO

    The amount invested over 13 years in Lake Valencia in north central Venezuela, could have been used by the Chavista regime to build 18 new hospitals like the Cardiológico Infantil Latinoamericano de Caracas, (Latin American Children’s Cardiology Hospital) or a fairway like the Panama Canal. But against the flow of the 385 million US dollars dumped in the water, the basin has become the largest septic tank in Latin America. This is one of the most serious environmental problems in the region, not only because of the pollution but also because of the social cost of 8,000 families who are at risk of losing their homes and even drowning in sewage. Before addressing this situation, the regime of Nicolás Maduro prefers to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and leave the neighbors abandoned to the eternal Venezuelan improvisation.

  • 10-09-2017 |

    ARMANDO.INFO

    This is the chronicle of a trip to nowhere. An effort of over a year to find the birth certificate of Nicolas Maduro—the key piece to solve the controversy over the nationality of the Venezuelan leader—led the team of Armando.info to the only document that the civil registry of La Candelaria Parish in Caracas could show, a few scanned pages. There is an unknown land where the original document is, if any. According to different versions, it is in a safe under the ongoing argument of "State security reasons," under a 24-hour personalized custody of at least four gatekeepers committed to deny access to the folios inside.    

  • 03-09-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The rebel prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Díaz, opened a real Pandora's box. Her accusation against Group Grand Limited not only strips the food import business for the popular Local Supply and Production Committee (CLAP). It also confirms that the businessman from Barranquilla, Alex Nain Saab Morán, hitherto linked to former Colombian senator, Piedad Córdoba, is also a hinge of President Nicolás Maduro. From the port of Veracruz, at least 7 million boxes of food have been shipped to Venezuela by a ghost company with no permanent office in Caracas or Mexico, and thanks to a millionaire contract with the Venezuelan government.   

  • 27-08-2017 |

    KATHERINE PENNACCHIO

    The main newspaper of the center of Venezuela and second of the country, 'Notitarde', was the setting for an experiment, a unique even for the Chavista era, with a clear military imprint. An Army colonel took over the company. It was part of the nervous media acquisition spree by capital close to the revolution from 2013 to 2015. The results, journalistic and business-wise, fall short of the expectations. However, the graduation classmate of Carlos Osorio and Pedro Carreño still wants to learn from the reporters at his service.

  • 20-08-2017 |

    ARMANDO.INFO

    Cristóbal Jiménez's obsequious ballad honoring Maisanta, the ancestor of the late President Hugo Chávez, has a title that fits the stories of Diego Pérez Henao, once one of the world's most wanted drug traffickers, who had his hideout in a small ranch in the state of Barinas. The estate emerges as one of the best kept secrets. Several sources agree that the founder of the Norte Del Valle cartel (Valley's North cartel) was untouchable within the boundaries that belonged to Israel Ramón Chávez Aro, a relative of the Bolivarian chieftain.

  • 17-08-2017 |

    ARMANDO.INFO

    The fine line that separates Norte de Santander and Venezuela hides burial grounds of disappeared people from both sides, victims of violence by illegal armed groups that move at ease between both countries. Their relatives travel through trails, sidewalks and even cemeteries on the Venezuelan side, in search of their missing ones, without the help of any government.

  • 13-08-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The Venezuelan fishing fleet and the seafood processing industry went under due to massive imports from the Government. Ironically, the shot underneath the waterline was fired by military officers in charge of overseeing the national sovereignty. A subsidiary of the Savings Bank of the Army imported tuna and other goods. The business was shielded with guaranteed access to Government currencies at preferential rates and alliances with the new business class.

  • 10-08-2017 |

    MARIO MUÑOZ DE LOZA

    More than 850 Mexican drug traffickers have been extradited to the United States. But then, when the work seems to be done, Mexico realizes that in just a few cases it investigated enough to seize the finances of the mafias. Now a new chapter threatens to sour the binational fight against drug trafficking: the claim the United States has made of the fortunes of the capos.

  • 08-08-2017 |

    MARIO MUÑOZ DE LOZA

    Disarray and bad practices in the State's institutions often cause many of the seized assets during judicial operations to not only be reinstated to their owners, but -to top it all- they have to be compensated by the treasury. The emblematic case of a light aircraft the Attorney General's Office took for its use, that was later scrapped as junk and in the end caused millions of costs to the State, proves that the confiscations, even if scarce, sometimes even become a lousy business for taxpayers.