More on Venezuela’s Oil-For What?
The second installment of El Nuevo Herald’s series on the oil corruption scandal today describes how it’s being done: Petrolera venezolana teje red de beneficiarios (Venezuela’s Oil Industry’s Web of Beneficiaries):
Información obtenida por El Nuevo Herald de documentos secretos y de fuentes familiarizadas con las operaciones del conglomerado petrolero, indica que altos funcionarios de Pdvsa y los intermediarios mantienen vínculos con líderes regionales y nacionales de los partidos oficialistas que apoyan al gobierno de Hugo Chávez, entre ellos el MVR (Movimiento V República) y el partido Podemos.
El Nuevo Herald has obtained secret documents and sources familiar with the operations of the Venezuelan oil conglomerate (Pdvsa) that shows that high officers of Pdvsa and their intermediaries keep close ties with regional and national leaders of the political parties supporting Hugo Chávez’s government, among then the MVR and Podemos parties
(Note I omitted the following paragraph by mistake in the original post) At the same time, there are family relationships linking these to the National Armed Force. Among them the article names Asdrúbal Chávez, President Chávez’s cousin, is director of commercial operations for Pdvsa, and Nora Valderrama, an official in the Department of Commerce and Supply who’s related to Minister of Defense General Jorge García Carneiro.
Los documentos confidenciales revelan que las operaciones se iniciaban cuando un alto funcionario en la petrolera estatal aseguraba una cuota de crudo o combustible, a fin de que el intermediario saliera a ofrecerlo principalmente a representantes de las empresas registradas en Pdvsa, a través del registro conocido como RUCCVE.
Los intermediarios utilizaban una red de empleados para iniciar el contacto con los posibles compradores, a través de llamadas telefónicas o correos electrónicos.
Una vez contactada, la empresa debía enviar una carta de intención (LOI, Letter of Intention), y un contrato para asegurar las comisiones (FPA, Fee Protection Agreement), en la mayoría de los casos con firma electrónica y ”los originales debidamente notariados”, como rezan las instrucciones enviadas por uno de estos intermediarios.
El paso final es la firma del contrato de suministro por parte de un representante legal de la empresa en Venezuela.
The confidential documents show that the transactions would start when a high official at the oil company would insure that a particular quota [would be met] of crude or combustible oil, so the intermediary would be able to offer it, maily to officers of businesses registered with Pdvsa, in its register, RUCCVE.
The intermediaries would use of network of employees to contact possible buyers through phone or email.
Once contacted, the business would sign a letter of intention (LOI) and a contract that would ensure the commissions (FPA, Fee Protection Agreement), in most cases with electronic signature and “duly notarized documents”, as stated in the instructions signed by one of the intermediaries.
The final step is the signature on the contract by a legal representative of the Venezuelan oil company.
The El Herald article states that one of the requirements was that none of the businesses involved could have opossed Chávez, which appears to contradict some of the information presented in yesterday’s article.
The article also states that no books have been presented for an audit of Pdvsa since 2003.
In related news, Spain violated EU regulations when it sold weapons to Venezuela:
(via Barcepundit), Spain violates EU regulations in arms sales to Venezuela, by Aleksander Boyd is hard on the EU:
It remains unclear as yet whether or not the Chavez regime has definitely bought chemical warfare agents and radioactive materials for this year’s report will not be available until May according to Pedro Mejia, Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism and Commerce . However it is, indeed, extremely worrying to learn about Hugo Chavez’ spending spree in defence materials and even more so when one adds to the equation the ships, rifles, planes and helicopters recently ordered to Spain, Russia and Brazil and the covert conversations about missiles with North Korea. Further his announcement of the formation of a 1.5 million strong reservists army that will repel potential US military attacks and destroy Venezuela’s oil installations if an invasion were ever to materialize coupled with the increasingly antagonistic and belligerent attitude towards those who have dared to criticized him in the international arena should have been enough for Spain and the EU to block the aforementioned weapons sales in compliance to the existing European Union Code of Conduct on Arms Exports 
(the numbers refer to footnotes in the article). As Barcepundit states,
Analizing the data, the sales were not only during the Zapatero administration, but during Aznar’s too. I’m not sure whether it can be argued that Chavez is more dangerous now than what he was a couple of years ago, though it can be argued that selling conventional weapons is one thing, and selling NBC-related material is an entirely different matter.
All the same, Groups Mark Venezuela Coup Anniversary.