The Executive Director and founder of Transparencia Venezuela, Mercedes De Freitas, believes that the pattern of corruption exercised by madurismo has escalated to unimaginable levels, which has become the main factor in the complex humanitarian crisis that Venezuelans are experiencing.
“It is not only a political model that is responsible for the destruction of institutions, but this model has formed a pattern of corruption so great that it has appropriated public money without any limits and with total impunity,” said De Freitas, who served as a speaker at the Forum “The Impact of Venezuelan Corruption in the World,” organized by the Venezuelan Embassy in Guatemala and its diplomatic representative, Maria Teresa Romero.
Although this network of corruption has been developing since 2003, with Maduro in power it reached its zenith and spread to many parts of the world, leaving important impacts such as massive migration, political financing of allies, money laundering, drug trafficking, and international organized crime, among others.
For De Freitas, the pattern of corruption of Madurism results from the configuration of several very complex elements that unleash a powerful authoritarian system of control, with the sole objective of staying in power at the expense of the wealth of an entire country. “With Petrocaribe alone, the Chavo-Madurismo granted more than 28 billion dollars in ‘aid’ to other countries, political allies, to finance elections and buy wills. The same happens with money laundering and other crimes in several parts of the world that caused one of the largest migrations in the history of mankind”, she highlighted.
The ramifications of systemic and powerful corruption in Venezuela as a consequence of the lack of a rule of law and the systematic violation of human rights is an endless topic. Countries such as Cuba, Russia, China and the new allies Iran and Turkey do not have public figures to quantify the size of “grand corruption” at the international level.
Today Venezuela is in the last place in the Americas in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and among the last 10 in the world which shows, to a great extent, the powerful tentacles that Maduro’s regime has created with the use of public goods.
The Saab case
Once Colombian businessman Alex Saab was arrested by Interpol in Cape Verde, speculation began about the powerful corruption networks he ran in different countries around the world. Mexico, Iran and Russia were his most common destinations. Not in vain did Saab manage, at his whim and in the dark, millions of dollars from the Venezuelan public treasury, and in the end the regime’s own foreign minister protected him as an “agent of the state”.
De Freitas was emphatic in pointing out the importance of the Colombian’s extradition to the United States. “This character managed to establish a whole network of companies with connections in many parts of the world, with more than 700 people involved in the cases of corruption in the military.” She said.
But Saab has also been accused of being the corrupting power that bought opposition deputies, infiltrated political parties and spied for Maduro. However, the biggest scandal links him to his inner circle: Maduro himself, Cilia Flores, Alvaro Pulido, Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora and Tareck El Aissami as the powerful network of organized crime, corruption and racketeering.