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In 2013, Maduro or Capriles made (almost) no difference to Odebrecht

New leaks of the "award-winning delation" that the construction company's proconsul in Caracas, Euzenando Azevedo, made to Brazilian justice last December reveal that in the elections to choose the successor to the late commander Hugo Chávez, Odebrecht made a Solomonic decision: to reach an understanding with the candidates of the Government and the Opposition and make contributions to the campaigns of both. It would not be on an equal footing: one was given $35 million, the other $15 million. But with the same consideration for both: that the public works contracts in charge of the multinational engineering company had to be respected.

7/30/2017 10:43:20 AM

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Today's president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, received $35 million dollars from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht for his 2013 election campaign. In March of that year, the maximum leader of the self-proclaimed Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chávez, had died of cancer. Maduro, Chávez's former minister of foreign affairs, had to face presidential elections just a month later, although in some ways anticipated, because the commander himself had designated him as his successor in a speech on television - his last public act - on December 8, 2012. Despite the chieftain's explicit endorsement, Maduro had to struggle to win a tight victory in the April 2013 presidential election, according to official figures, with only 1% of the votes ahead of his opponent, opposition candidate and Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Odebrecht's contribution to the pro-government campaign was already known from the depositions of Brazilian publicist Joao Santana and his wife, Marina Moura, before judicial authorities investigating the Lava Jato scandal, the scheme of bribes and commissions that the national civil engineering companies, with Odebrecht at the helm, created to ensure their participation in major infrastructure and public works projects. It is a scheme that these corporations exported to other countries as they developed an international expansion of their businesses that ran in parallel with the projection of the political influence of Brazil and the government of Inácio Lula Da Silva towards large regions of Latin America and Africa, especially.