In his speech, based on the essay of his authorship “Corruption and Human Rights”, the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Kingdom, Vanessa Neumann explained how the regime of Nicolás Maduro has used authoritarianism, not only as a mechanism to perpetuate himself in power, but to give free rein to the illicit enrichment of the power groups and to strengthen the criminal network that sustains it.
“The concentration of power in a group through illicit financing ends up eroding citizen rights and human rights. In my country, Venezuela, the last consequences of corruption have been famine, tyranny and mass exodus”, she said.
Neumann, whose expertise in cases of illicit trade and corruption has made her an authority on security in Latin America, is the author of the book “Blood Profits” and for four years worked in the Working Group Anti-Trafficking in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In her speech at the University of Cambridge, Ambassador Neumann also denounced some of the most emblematic cases of corruption under the Maduro regime and the late Hugo Chávez. Between these:
- Corruption in the granting of contracts of the state-owned company Corpoelec and the direct impact of these cases on the death of children and adults in hospitals in Venezuela due to lack of electricity.
- The illegal exploitation of the Mining Arc in Venezuela and the concessions granted by the regime to terrorist groups such as the ELN and the FARC.
- The close relationship of the Maduro regime with drug cartels from Colombia and Mexico and the use of Venezuela as a take-off runway for distribution of cocaine.
- The network of corruption behind the granting of CLAP funds by the regime and the “use of hunger” as an instrument of citizenship control.
In the second half of her speech, the Ambassador presented a series of recommendations and parameters for the development of a national integrity program, promoted by a unit of independent committees that would involve both public and private entities. This anti-corruption unit would promote transparency and the rescue of institutionalism in post-dictatorship Venezuela.
The diplomat urged the audience, which brings together prosecutors and financial intelligence agents around the world, to “prevent and destroy the illicit economic ties that help sustain the oppressors in power” and added: “We know what we should do, but we can’t do it alone. Do not allow the economy of your countries to be tainted with blood-stained money. Do not allow our dead to become a rounding error in your financial accounts.”