Caracas, October 8, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—On Friday, October 7, Rafael Tellechea, president of Venezuela’s state-owned fertilizer company Monómeros, denounced a new attack against the company by Elite International Bank, which in a communication dated September 30 informed Monómeros that it would close the company’s bank account from October 17.
“Starting from October 17, 2022, the account will not be operational and the funds that enter will be returned with the note ‘closed account,'” reads part of the letter published by Tellechea on his Twitter account. The bank also agreed to send back in a banker’s check the money that may remain in the account after the specified date, and requested that “the necessary arrangements in relation to the above” be made.
Cómo se puede interpretar? Será contra Monomeros? Será contra Colombia ? Será que quieren esconder el desastre financiero de Guillermo Laprea? O de juanito alimaña? Ante cada ataque seremos más fuertes. pic.twitter.com/Rrn7o57uOk
— Rafael Tellechea (@TellecheaRuiz) October 7, 2022
In the tweet Tellechea wondered how the attack should be interpreted, because in his opinion it is not entirely clear if the intended target is Colombia or Monómeros, or if it is a maneuver to “hide the financial disaster” of the Guaidó-appointed fake former general manager Guillermo Rodríguez Laprea or his boss, former deputy Juan Guaidó. “In the face of each attack we will be stronger,” Tellechea added.
Monómeros is a Venezuelan state-owned company, belonging to Petroquímica de Venezuela (Pequiven), headquartered in the Colombian city of Barranquilla. It is considered to be one of Venezuela’s most valuable assets abroad. The company was seized by former Colombian President Iván Duque with the help of the US government in its failed attempt to oust President Maduro. However, after the new president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, took office in August, he returned the company to Venezuela. However, the board of directors appointed by Guaidó had almost bankrupted and crippled the company and let it fall into disrepair. In addition, although the company has been returned to its legitimate owners, the threat of illegal US sanctions was always present during the process.
According to analysts, the decision of this bank of closing one of the accounts of Monómeros may be the result of US government pressures aiming at sabotaging not only the Venezuelan government but also the resolve of the new Colombian authorities to take sovereign decisions for the benefit of the Colombian people. The US government, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury, has consistently applied its own sanctions extraterritorially against not only the countries and governments that it does not like bu also third countries and public and private companies that maintain financial and commercial relations with the sanctioned countries and entities. The US government can do this because the United States is the majority shareholder or principal force in all international financial institutions.
During his presidential campaign, President Petro had promised to fix the irregular status of the Venezuelan company, not only as a matter of justice, but also as a necessity of Colombian agribusinesses that have been heavily affected by the increase in prices of fertilizers due to the US-led sanctions against Russia.
Elite International Bank, based in Puerto Rico, is a small financial institution with majority US capital, and its board of directors is made up of former bankers, accountants and lawyers. In an interview with a Miami-based newspaper, the president of the bank stated that its “business model is based on offering foreign trade services to natural persons and companies located mainly in Latin America and the United States.”
The LinkedIn profile of the bank states that it “has an account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York following Federal laws and regulations relating to American banking practices.”
Orinoco Tribune special by staff
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 9, 2022