Thank you for having the courage to sanction a bunch of thugs, when all other democratic nations turn their backs on us.
Thank you for showing that Liberals do not tolerate human rights violators, regardless of where they stand in the political spectrum.
Thank you for shining a light of hope upon our battered nation.
Not long ago, I was in a conference about the offshore financial services industry. I remember, in particular, a conversation with the organizer, who claimed that the only country in the world that does something with regards to money launderers is the U.S.
We have seen how U.S. authorities have slapped big banks with hefty fines, due to their involvement in financing terrorism, large scale money laundering and other similar actions.
Your Executive Order imposing sanctions on seven chavistas suggests that those who associate and partake in the "illicit financial flows from public corruption in Venezuela" will also be targeted. As one of Venezuela's foremost researchers on corruption, let me stress upon the importance of targeting such people.
What keeps Nicolas Maduro's regime in power is not the might of its armed forces; is not the brutality meted out on innocents, or torture and assassination of students; is not its political cunning, nor its association with the communist Cuban handlers. But rather corruption. The freedom to use Venezuela's cash with absolute discretion, and without any form of accountability, that's what keeps chavismo in power.
If you were to disrupt that, by sanctioning the enablers, the facilitators of corruption, chavismo would tremble. For the U.S. financial system, which your EO aims to protect, continues to act as a gigantic laundromat, for nearly all involved in corruption in Venezuela. U.S. based banks, lawyers, lobbyists and businesses are employed as a matter of standard practice by the Boliburgeoisie.
It'll be difficult, even for you, to be able to impose meaningful sanctions on somebody like Diosdado Cabello. But you can very well hit his proxies, the financial operators that use the U.S. financial system to launder the proceeds of corruption. You could start with Roberto Rincón, based in Texas. He knows a thing or two about other OFAC-designated thugs, like Hugo Carvajal, a distinguished member of Diosdado's "Cartel de los Soles."
You could summon Luis Alfonso Oberto Anselmi. Now that one is a double -perhaps a triple, quadruple...?- whammy:
- he is married to Victor Gill's daughter;
- used to be partner of Raul Gorrín;
- does deals with Francisco D'Agostino (also New York-based and currently under investigation by Manhattan's DA Office and other Federal Agencies), who's in turn married to Victor Vargas' daughter;
- is partner in some other deals with Coco Capriles (one of Nelson Merentes' favourite proxies / operators);
- is associated with Derwick Associates folks, reportedly as Venezuela's largest black market forex operators;
- has a direct line to the very top of PDVSA (Rafael Ramirez, Baldo Sanso, and Asdrubal Chavez), reportedly allocator of hundreds of millions of dollars to be used in arbitrage;
- did, together with his father, some deals with Wilmer Ruperti;
- is into banking, insurance, food processing, and services in Venezuela;
- reportedly does business with Danilo Diaz Granados and Leonardo Gonzalez Dellán.