Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Extortion in Venezuela

[UPDATED] A thoughtful reader, without any respect for my well deserved break, but remembering that I was victim of an extortion in Puerto Cabello a couple of months ago, sent me this little piece of news where in the US the Venezuelan public "servant", a certain Rafael Ramos de la Rosa in charge of Unovalores was trying to get out of their owners 2 million dollars so as to write them a favorable report that would free them of major responsibility, allow them to keep their business alive, and avoid jail.  That is, either you give me 2 million dollars or you go to jail and lose your business, regardless or how guilty you may be, or not.

Unfortunately for Rafael he forgot that in the US there is an independent judicial system and that extortion is not as easy as it is in Venezuela where you own the blessing of the regime.  Venezuela, the most corrupt "democracy" in the world, by far, if we are to believe all the recent publications on that subject.  He is kind of an idiot by the way, because after the Antonini affair of the 800,000 USD (those were the times!  now we are talking millions!) he should know that anyone who does not risk jail under US law will call law enforcement agencies to help them out.  Unlike in Venezuela where guilty or innocent you still need to negotiate your extortion amount with the chavista official, military, local pol, whatever, that you had the misfortune to cross in your path.  So Rafael is now in a Florida jail awaiting who knows what.

Thus you have it, the routine extortion system in Venezuela where the chavista regime has set a system to steal from the private enterprise whatever they feel like stealing, from extortion to allow you to remain alive, barely, to outright seizure of the business.

How long until the country collapses?  Because I hope you do realize that such an "economic" system where organized robbery replaces organized production can last only for so long.

UPDATE!!!!  La Patilla, a real news website, gives us the papers that led to the arrest of Ramos in the US.  In it he states simply that his boss, Sanchez, the guy he set up with the extortion scheme to the different trading houses they seized earlier this year, wants to become finance minister because Giordani is sick and cannot last much longer. I suppose he has the right credentials, he is pro Chavez and knows how to operate highway robbery schemes.  What else do you need to run Venezuela's economy?



  1. 1979 Boat People4:41 PM

    Worldwide Corruption Perceptions Index.

    Well, Chavez's goverment and his buddies' goverments are doing well FROM THE BOTTOM according to the chart.

  2. I wonder what position that Ramos had. I like your label "voodoo economics". Voodoo it is.

  3. Anonymous7:27 PM

    Oh dear Daniel........ how many years and how many times have we wondered "how long until the collapse?" And it goes on and on and on...

  4. anoymous

    the thing here is that now we are in front of a deliberate attempt of wrecking the economy so that anyone depends on the state. this might work, partially, for a while, with moderately competent people. not in chavista venezuela.

  5. Anonymous7:22 AM

    Mr. Boyd hits the spot:

  6. Daniel,

    Look at Cuba. WE need to do something more.

  7. It's beyond sad when "moderately competent Chavista" is an oxymoron. Even if they were trying, they wouldn't get it right - but of course, they aren't trying.

    Then again, the lack of competence is certainly keeping at least some things from being even worse. Like this case - imagine if he were smart enough not to get caught.

  8. After reading the indictment, all I can say is:


    Especially the part where Ramos says that he knows the policy of Chavez is to destroy the country, but what are you going to do? Make hay while the sun shines!

  9. From the affidavit at the patilla link above:

    4. Tomas Andres Vasquez Estrella (hereinafter referred to as "Vasquez") was the previous owner of Venezuela based securities firm Uno Valores. In early December 2009, Vasquez left Venezuela for the United Slates due to a relationship he had with Venezuelan citizen, Eligio Cedeno. Cedeno had fled Venezuela because he had been put in jail by the Chavez regime. He was subsequently released by a Venezuelan Judge. That Judge was then jailed for releasing him. Cedeno is currently in the United States and applying for political asylum in the United States.

  10. Pursuant to Roberto N's comment. Indeed, the country is being destroyed. When the final collapse occurs (1 to 2 years from now), the Colombians will come in like the carpetbaggers did from the North to the South after the Civil War and when the dust settles, Venezuela will be, in fact, if not in name, a province of Colombia.

    Ironically, Chavez will have, at long last, realized Simon Bolivar's dream of Gran Colombia.

  11. Funny Roy,

    For 10 years now, it has been said that Venezuela's economic collapse has been imminent but "somehow " it just keeps muddling on.

    Could it have something to do with the oil money?

    Even if there is an economic collapse of the country, it does not mean economic collapse for the thugs, nor does it mean that Chavez will be out of power or out of money.Just look at the Castros and their thugs who have done quite nicely in spite of the virtual economic collapse of their country.

    1.People are motivated largely by habit and 11 years is a long time to build up a habit.

    2.People are motivated by fear, and there is much to go around.Fear of all types.Fear is a primal emotion for survival and therefore extremely powerful as a motivating factor.

    3.People are motivated by propaganda and by trying to look good in other's eyes which is prevalent in ALL situations.

    As we have seen in the recent elections, Chavez does not need a majority to stay in power.

    Colombia will not come in to rape Venezuela.In the Civil War the North won and the South was owned by the North.This could happen in Venezuela only if the whole system of Chavez disappeared...if there is no more State socialism.


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