Monday, July 28, 2014

Carvajal 1, Welfare State 0, US of A offside, El Nacional -1

So, as I was afraid, Carvajal was released, and faster than I expected.  I must confess that for a while I thought the Dutch would be firmer, and at least negotiate something solid back for them. Why, the infamous plane blasting would have put enough outrage in its leaders to show resolve! And yet in my first two entries on the subject I was careful to note that there was still a stretch to see Carvajal rot in an US jail.

The Netherlands King visits the naked emperor of chavismo
But the Dutch are the Dutch, they are not principled like Scandinavians, they are not reckless like Latins. Business is ALWAYS business with them, nothing personal. At home they are paragon of civic attitudes and virtue. They will save Anne Frank while in Indonesia the natives did not miss them when the Japanese invaded. In the end they lost both but that is another story.

And let's face it, why would the Netherlands go to war with Venezuela over Aruba? Over what looks now like a botched DEA job? Did they not send Willem and Maxima to see Maduro last November? The only European head of states in a long time willing to breathe the foul air of Caracas.....

There is a reason why countries are not ready to take definite stands against thugs like Venezuela or Putin: too many economic interests put together with real expensive welfare state systems. Welfare systems are sustained in large part on the big amount of taxes companies like Shell pay the Dutch treasury: company taxes, income taxes from its employees, sales taxes from Shell's products sold in the Netherlands, and local taxes here and there. I do not know what is the extent of Shell or other Dutch companies exposure in Venezuela, directly or indirectly through "associations", but it must be big to be the only European willing to send its king, and to release Carvajal so quickly.

And that is all I will blame the Dutch with: they are true to themselves and there is no point in being upset at them more than necessary. The Dutch are tough when they are in a group, very tough. But alone in front of Venezuela, because the US of A is using them instead of doing the job themselves......  here, if I am going to put most of the real blame, it is on the US of A. Sorry.

Let's discuss more interesting stuff in the second part of the post.

Chavismo is going to party hard tonight. I would not. The international backlash is there and will not be erased with a picture of Carvajal back home. The PR disaster, from bullying Aruba to defending a narco military has been read in all foreign offices and press rooms. There is no escape from that one. Not that chavistas care of PR, of course, but their travelling style will from now on be severely crimped as the US of A will not do the same mistake next time. And that, chavismo cares about.

Inside Venezuela the swift retrieval of Carvajal can only mean one thing: the military are on top. Venezuelan military may be all or some corrupt and/or narco but they have that thing about "no man left behind" though for the wrong reasons. More interestingly, the desperate push to get back Carvajal betrayed a deep seated fear in the army.

Was Carvajal that important? Yes and no. The basic case on Venezuela as a drug narco state, a terrorist supporter, is already established. There is enough evidence, enough defections already available to the US and the EU (remember Aponte Aponte, Velazquez Alvaray, Izea, and more?). Carvajal was only going to plug a few holes, bring more details. Or maybe not. What was important here was not Carvajal knowledge, but the precedent that all of these narco thugs could eventually receive just punishment.

Finally, what was this all about? A farce maybe? After all, the big loser of the day may be El Nacional which published today that Carvajal had planned to surrender to the US for a while. El Nacional needs to account fast and well for such a major misinterpretation.  Or can it do so?

The thing is that the swift, I repeat the word, retrieval of Carvajal means that not only the army has acted but also the drug traffickers, and all the thugs that could be affected. Money and means were put to serve the "cause" of Carvajal and thus maybe if he tried to surrender he may have not been able to do so....  All conspiracy theories are allowed tonight.

One thing is certain: quite a few countries "friendly" to Venezuela have discovered this week the power of drug cartels and military inside Venezuela, and that a decent opposition playing by the rules has no chances. These countries may decide to keep a blind eye on Venezuela anyway, but it will do them no good: drug traffic and militarism is an  Ebola to democracy. It is already spreading away from Venezuela, count Aruba as its new victim, an island swiftly abandoned by the countries supposed to protect it.

PS: by way, this is clearly far from over. A Pandora box has been opened. Even the Venezuelan opposition risks to pay for other people mistakes. The MUD is on record accusing Carvajal this Saturday.


  1. Dr. Faustus3:53 AM

    "But alone in front of Venezuela, because the US of A is using them instead of doing the job themselves...... here, if I am going to put most of the real blame, it is on the US of A. Sorry."

    I couldn't agree more.....

  2. Anonymous6:06 AM

    How did the US botch the job? Are you suggesting that the US should have done a rendition on Carvajal? You lost me. This is plain and simple: Shame on the Netherlands. Mafia 1: Justice: 0.
    Pelao Manrique.

    1. It seems obvious that Carvajal threatened to talk and name names; US citizen's amongst the scurvy crew.

    2. Anonymous12:35 AM

      on the surface it was completely botched. The arrest was not kosher. The whole process was irregular. DEA was given special access above and beyond what I consider regular. Carvajal's Dutch lawyer was very clear and concise. This was an uphill battle unless there was collusion and coordination between the Americans and the Dutch and the purpose of the mission was other. Keep in mind that Carvajal is Spychief and now Spymaster and the DEA is doing the bidding of the CIA, FBI, NSA, State Dept and Justice Dept. You don't unseal an indictment and arrest EL POLLO unless you have clear goals in mind and are willing to see all contingencies through. This was not the case. Again, without knowing the true goals of the operation it's hard to pass judgement but on the basis of the gathered intel (five mobile phones if correct), then the mission is a complete success if the NSA has capabilities within Venezuelan telecom networks. No shame on the Dutch, they cooperated above and beyond in arresting Carvajal and providing access to him. This is just their way out and it could have been preplanned. You have to have your head in the sand to think USA can arrest and extradite Carvajal just like that. Has anyone been following US policy towards Latam and Venezuela these past 15 years? Many of you write as if you don't know what you are talking about but this is a complicated subject and Carvajal is a true practitioner of tradecraft.

    3. Anonymous4:57 PM

      In your analysis, you demonstrate why the Boli-narco-garchs laugh at all who oppose them. They do not think like us, obey no laws, have no values, respect no judges care not at all about protests. They only care they get things that satisfy their appetites. The arrest was valid, Carvajal's previous activites nullified any attempt to paint him as a "diplomat," unless you'd care to extend such status to Pablo Escobar, as well. There was abundant evidence from many sources, some internal, some other. His own thugs also were ratting him out. This is about self-centerdness and thinking for the short-term, and not trusting friends to help. Hillary Clinton is wrong about many things, but she is correct in saying the US have dropped the ball on telling their own history! Bush helped on that a lot by throwing away too many hallowed traditions of the army, the government, the society in relation to other nations. The US is watcning for signs that Venezuelans care to truly stand up for themselves and force Maduro to quit. Only Venzuelans really can solve this one, with help from friends.

  3. The arrested ex-judge Palmeri Bacchi, now in Miami prison will provide some consolation as he tells everything he knows in order to have a chance at ever seeing the light of day again.

  4. The USA is to blame? For what? The corruption, crime, inflation, lack of freedom and self expression?

    As my mother told me over and over, "if you want something done, do it yourself".

  5. Anonymous2:37 PM

    The curse of being USA, "shame if you, do shame if you don't" The only country even trying to bring this criminals to justice is USA. The only politicians even mentioning the corruption of the Vzlan regime are americans ( Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio) Venezuelans should put the blame where it belongs, on themselves. You not only elected Chavez the first time(some 15yrs ago) but have failed "miserably" at trying to bring this violent and corrupt regime down. One thing you have to applaud for the Maduro team is that they are corrupt and criminals but they are very well organized, have lots of stolen money to buy whoever they need, they stick to each other (unlike the MUD) and they get the job of protecting each other done! If you want to blame a country blame the Dutch for giving immunity to a "non grata" person, as explained by their Canciller (????)
    It is a sad day when a higher up drug trafficking enabler such as Carvajal gets diplomatic immunity but a kid in the streets selling pot gets arrested... The only lesson to be learned? If you are going to break the law make sure you have tons of friends and money to be able to get away with it.....

  6. Anonymous3:21 PM

    I agree with the other Anonymous. You can't blame the USA. Even you could, as long as this current Librule administration is in the White House, don't expect any help from the USA. Their only priority is funding raising and year round campaigning.

  7. Reminder to the knee jerk commentaries. The US of A did a botched job IN THIS CASE. Please, do not put sweeping concluding words in my mouth. Thank you.

  8. Reminder to the knee jerk commentaries. The US of A did a botched job IN THIS CASE. Please, do not put sweeping concluding words in my mouth. Thank you.

    1. Charly6:27 PM

      The USA had an opportunity and they seized it. Aruba officials contacted the Foreign Ministry, got the message the dude did not have immunity then booked him. Over the weekend the Foreign Minister had a change of heart, shat himself, whatever, but made a 180 degree turn, leaving the poor islanders left to dry. Can't see what the USA did wrong here. However what that tells me is that the scoundrel is not such a big fish in the grand scheme of things like let say an Al Quaeda boss, otherwise they would have gone for extreme rendition. Their action has had some benefits however:
      1. El pollo is definitely grounded
      2. The career of Cliver Alcala Cordones as ambassador to Belgium also seems to be grounded
      3. Ramirez cancelled his trip to NY. Coincidence? If you believe in it.
      3. Aristobulo confessed yesterday that the PSUV big honchos cannot move freely anymore. At least himself and Cabello. BTW this guy is as stupid as they come with his silly comments.

      Not to forget that the DEA is a bureaucracy, they will wait the time it takes and if it 20 years, so be it but they will eventually end up behind bars. Such is the nature of bureaucracy, slowly but surely. This episode just shows they probably have most if not all of the pieces by now and start but just start to make their move.

  9. Island Canuck6:31 PM

    Isn't it possible with all the cash stashed away that some one got paid.
    I mean a few million $$ or Euros in the right hands can certainly turn a public official around.

    That's the first thing that occurred to me when I heard the news.

  10. Anonymous10:21 PM

    I think minister Timmermans changed his mind because of personal reasons. He is a left winger so he may sympathize with the Venezuelan government.

  11. Don't forget the six phones. Who had access to them over the weekend? Does anybody know if the lot included a smart phone? Did the authorities who had those phones dump emails, phone and contact records, call records, photographs, and possibly other information?

    1. Anonymous12:42 AM

      Fernando, it helps to have some understanding of the NSAs capabilities. It's way beyond those five or six phones and what's on those phones. It's who those phones contacted and vice versa and it extends out as far as they want. That is the jackpot.
      Venezuela should be easy once they penetrate. Now all those people Carvajal spoke with can change their phones but it does not matter. The NSA can reconstruct a lot even if you change your account and number. The damage is done.

  12. Oh, and I forgot: Shell's Venezuela's business isn't worth a glass of warm spit. As a matter if fact none if those joint ventures are worth much in real life because they don't pay dividends. They are kept alive because the oil vultures are waiting for this regime's irrational business behavior to die. I don't think they'll have their wishes, which means those properties will eventually require really large write downs.

  13. Anonymous12:14 AM

    Daniel, I think you nailed it better than anyone. The readers are still clueless but such is the cloak and dagger world. Yes, on the surface, the DEA FUCKED UP. On the surface ;-)

  14. How could the Dutch possibly pay for all their welfare benefits if they don't do business with anybody?

  15. Anonymous1:22 AM

    We can comment as much as we want, but we don' know for sure what really happen and who is to blame for this criminal Mafioso Carvajal back in Venezuela. It is a pity the miserable 'pollo" is not going to the USA to pay for his crimes.

  16. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Interesting that Carvajal is an accused drug trafficer when he has turned over to, Columbian and USA authorities a record number of (75) drug kingpins. Perhaps he has done his job too well?

    1. If you are going to repeat chavista propaganda be kind enough to put at least a serious link.

    2. Yes anonymous, Carvajal has done his job too well. By turning over some of his drugger competion to the USA, Carvajal remains the real drug kingpin in Venezuela and Columbia.

  17. Anonymous4:40 AM

    Blame the US. Words of a fagget.

    1. an anonymous that cannot even spell properly an insult.


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