Revealed: Juan Guaidó used looted millions of dollars to strip Venezuela’s assets

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August 3, The Canary exposed how the legal fees of Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaidó in the UK were paid with appropriate money from the Venezuelan state.

In an attempt to gain access to approximately $ 2 billion in Venezuelan gold held at the Bank of England, it was reported that Guaidó’s legal team used hundreds of thousands of dollars initially seized from the Central Bank of Venezuela in the United States.

We can now reveal that this figure is significantly higher. According to official documents, Guaidó and his appointees gave more than $ 6.5 million to powerful law firms as part of a campaign to bleed the Venezuelan state of its foreign assets.

Almost all of this money was sent in a series of installments to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP – the law firm representing Guaido in the UK.

The company appears to be closely linked to the United States’ foreign policy apparatus and has, in recent years, represented a series Latin American right-wing officials.

Remarkably, the documents also suggest that Guaidó received over half a million dollars from this fund.

Looted dollars

In April 2020, the US government transferred $ 342 million in assets of the Central Bank of Venezuela in an account at the US Federal Reserve in New York. In a move denounced by the Venezuelan government as “vulgar looting,” the money was then turned over to Guaidó’s ad hoc board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela.

Read on …

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Official figures published by the Ad Hoc Council of Guaidó spectacle that at least USD 6,552,512 of these funds were used “for professional legal services in charge of the protection of assets abroad and authorization procedures before OFAC”.

Guaidó and his appointees have, in other words, spent millions of looted dollars in an attempt to rob the Venezuelan state.

Most of this money went to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP – the law firm representing Guaidó in the UK.

Guaidó and his appointees also directed approximately $ 100 million in assets looted from a secret “Liberation fund”. According to PA, opposition lawmakers used the fund in 2020 to “pay yourself $ 5,000 per month” while providing only $ 100 per month to doctors and nurses battling the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).

Remarkably, the documents suggest that Guaidó and his appointees have in fact paid Guaidó more than half a million dollars since March 2021. The most recent payment to the “presidency” was made on July 19, 2021 and s’ amounted to US $ 407,702.

Lobbying for Guaidó

A number of questions also arise regarding Guaidó’s legal representation in the UK and his ties to the US foreign policy apparatus.

Eli Whitney Debevoise II, senior partner at Arnold & Porter who tracks on the case of Guaidó in the UK, was listed on the US Foreign Agent Registration Act as a lobbyist for the Venezuelan opposition.

According to an official document, Debevoise advised Guaidó “on US economic sanctions, corporate banking law, US disputes and international arbitration”.

The document keep on going:

In support of the lead registrant [Guaidó], the short filer may engage in political activities on behalf of the principal foreigner, including making contact with U.S. government officials regarding the preservation of Venezuela’s assets in the United States, establishing a diplomatic presence, and l economic and humanitarian assistance.

Guaidó may have paid for Arnold & Porter’s legal services, in other words, with money seized in the United States as a result of Arnold & Porter’s lobbying efforts.

Proximity to the US foreign policy apparatus

Debevoise II appears to be well positioned to provide lobbying services in the United States.

From his LinkedIn Account, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which provides “In-person access to world leaders, senior government officials, members of Congress, and leading thinkers and practitioners”. Elliot Abrams, Donald Trump’s former interlocutor on Venezuela, is a longtime senior fellow and member of CFR.

Debevoise II also lists the late American official William D. Rogers, who planned American policy in Latin America throughout the 1960s and 1970s, as mentor. Rogers was a top to advise to Henry Kissinger in the mid-1970s; the last describe Rogers as “my friend and in many ways my conscience”.

Newspaper reports from the 1960s Remark that Debevoise II’s father, Eli Whitney Debevoise, was the senior officer of the CIA’s front organization, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). As the Washington post reported in 1967, the ICJ received “$ 655,000 from known CIA front groups.” At Arnold & Porter old students is former CIA General Counsel Jeffrey H. Smith.

Arnold & Porter would spear an “influence campaign” in Support of disgraced drug dealer Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.

Guaidó’s legal representation in the UK therefore appears to benefit from close proximity to both the US foreign policy apparatus and the Latin American right, and questions regarding conflicts of interest are likely to arise.

Despite its involvement in a damning series of scandals, the UK government has reaffirmed its Support for Guaidó on August 18.

Featured Image Via White House Flickr / Trump Archives

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