Friday, June 21, 2013

Not holding my breath over corruption

socialist coruption
Today we read that Maduro gloated yesterday on his fight against corruption by having arrested the custom tax collector of La Guaira. We are told they found 4 millions in cash in his condo, or around 600K USD at the official rate, or 130K USD at the real street value today. Certainly, no matter the exchange rate, those are large sums to have in cash in your apartment considering the crime rate in Venezuela, but nothing that big if you ask me.

A small business like mine has had to pay once to a SENIAT corrupt about 15K just to save a shipment unduly retained. It was paying that or losing the shipment. NOTE: the fine would have been more than the 15K, they usually ask between 50 and 80% of the fine so you feel better about yourself. The blackmail is based on abusive laws that allow the customs to punish you for a misfiled form, or even a mere typo. And yet the merchandise is there, you can always prove through CADIVI that you imported neither more nor less than what you intended to import, there is no fraud on the amounts or quality of the merchandise, just a clerical error along the way, an easy occurrence considering that you need to fill up dozens of forms. The system is stacked against you.

Thus, if you ask me, those 4 million represent at most a month of "work", and probably his share because if he had to pay off his accomplices he would not have kept the money in his home least he got robbed and then punished by the mafia. Then again it is possible he was set up and had just received the cash and was ready to distribute it to whomever it may concern. Still, it is not much money when I consider the many cases of customs abuse I have heard of.

But I digress. The real point here is that I do not believe that the regime is bound on any anti corruption crusade. There are two things at play in this story: the regime needs to throw the hoi polloi a bone, so it needs to make look that it is fighting corruption. But the regime also has a cash problem and needs to send a message that austerity also applies to the mafia and that they need to lower their percentages because they are exacerbating the asphyxia of the economy.

I could also add more cynically that there is not enough cash around and thus what we are seeing is a mere gang war to thin the ranks of those who have access to blackmail and other mafia practices.


  1. Boludo Tejano4:51 PM

    Today we read that Maduro gloated yesterday on his fight against corruption by having arrested the custom tax collector of La Guaira. We are told they found 4 millions in cash in his condo.

    I suspect he got nabbed because he neglected to sufficiently share his wealth with others in the government. You gotta keep current.

  2. If they really tried to eliminate corruption, it would eliminate the only grease that prevents the machine from seizing up and grinding a complete halt.

  3. Anonymous5:57 AM

    They find out your business makes some money, you can access the amount they want to bite. They getit, then report to their favorite Pran, whose business representatives take a beloved family member or a most valued business partner to El Llano to enjoy a little Chavista call the police and find out that they and the Bolivarian Militia are being bossed by Cubans who run the Discount Sequestration show...and the rest is as you could read in thousands of personal histories...


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