The list of acts of corruption in Venezuela is long, and so is impunity. The Plan Bolívar 2000 (the late President Hugo Chávez’s first social program); the financing of Chávez’s first electoral campaign by Spain-based bank BBVA; the scam at a sugar factory in Sabaneta de Barinas in Barinas state; the $800,000 in Guido Antonini Wilson’s briefcase; the misappropriation of the money from PDVSA’s pension fund; fraud at Bandes bank and the Chinese-Venezuelan Fund; the rotten food of the Pudreval case; fraud at the Socialist Agricultural Development Fund (Fondafa); the mafias controlling iron bar and aluminum sales in the Guayana area; the juicy deal cut by Bolivarian fellows to “rehabilitate” the national electric system.
This list keeps growing and so does impunity. All the sweet deals in and out the companies in Guayana; the corruption going on at the BusCaracas public transportation system and the reconstruction of the east tower of the Parque Central building in Caracas; the “deals” that made former Aragua state governor Rafael Isea flee the country; the administration of Diosdado Cabello, the current head of the Legislative Palace (AN), at the Miranda Governorship from 2004-2008, which was endorsed by the Supreme Court (TSJ) on Wednesday.
The statements from Walid Makled on narco-generals and narco-lawmakers; the revelations from Eladio Aponte Aponte (a former TSJ justice) about the corruption acts he participated in. Not even accusations from Planning Minister Jorge Giordani about “briefcase companies” taking $20 billion from Cadivi have caught the eye of lawmakers supporting the cause of President Nicolás Maduro.
All these complaints we just mentioned have several things in common: All of them involve members from the PSUV, the Government’s party and have not been investigated either by the AN or the Attorney General’s Office or the nation’s highest courts.
All criminal investigation requests made by lawmakers from opposition party Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) have been denied. And because of that, the act of removing María Aranguren from the seat she earned as an opposition lawmaker in Congress by popular vote is considered a robbery, similar to those we see pulling against innocent citizens in Venezuelan streets every day.
This was also, and above all, an act of supreme hypocrisy.
The words from Aranguren, previously a member from the PSUV, exposed all of her former “buddies” from the left-wing party founded by Chávez in 2008. This is an act of retaliation against her for having become a dissident and not having taken briberies to become Maduro’s much-coveted “Lawmaker 99” so he could get special powers to rule.
The only way for those in power to investigate an act of corruption is that the people under investigation become their political adversaries.
Army General Raúl Baduel was an outstanding soldier, the man who rescued Chávez from the Orchila Island during a coup attempt in 2002, and who was then promoted to Chief General because of his bravery.
It only took a disagreement with the intentions of the late president regarding a constitutional reform so he could instantly become a corrupt person and ended up behind bars.
This formula was already applied before, for example, against former TSJ justice Luis Velásquez Alvaray, who got quickly promoted by the chavista regime until he made a small mistake that made the “chief” real angry and made him flee the country.
Eduardo Manuitt and José Gregorio Briceño, former governors from Guárico and Monagas states, respectively, are other fine examples of what we are describing here.
The events implicating Aranguren took place in 2008, which did not prevent her from running off as a parliamentarian for the PSUV.
Back then she was an honest citizen with a clean record, but since she is a dissident now, she has become a suspect of having committed acts of corruption.
What happened at the AN on Tuesday proved, once again, that fighting corruption is not what moves PSUV lawmakers and their allies.
The way how the PSUV got its “Lawmaker 99” is just another symbol of the national corruption.