On Thursday, October 21, the Department of Justice of the United States government reported about a formal accusation issued at a US court against five persons allegedly linked to a corruption plot through the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP) program of Venezuela. One of those five is Venezuela’s National Assembly deputy, José Vielma Mora.
A federal jury in the Southern District of Florida issued a formal indictment, which was filed on October 7, nine days before the kidnapping of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab from Cape Verde, against three Colombian citizens and two Venezuelans, for their alleged roles in laundering the proceeds of contracts to provide food and medicine to Venezuela, which they allegedly procured through bribes, according to US authorities.
CLAP is Maduro administration’s program to provide food to more than seven million Venezuelan households every month. The program has been one of the main targets of the US regime in its illegal sanctions and blockade strategy, aiming to starve to death millions of Venezuelans for the sole purpose of ousting the democratically elected government of Nicolás Maduro.
Three of the five accused by US authorities are Colombian citizens—Álvaro Pulido Vargas (57), Emmanuel Enrique Rubio González (32), and Carlos Rolando Lizcano Manrique (50), and two are Venezuelans, José Vielma Mora (55) and Ana Guillermo Luis (49).
The US Justice Department statement noted that the allegations mentioned in the indictment date back to July 2015 or around that time, until at least 2020. During that period, José Vielma Mora worked as Venezuela’s minister for Foreign Trade between 2017 and 2018.
“Pulido, Vielma Mora, Rubio, Lizcano and Guillermo conspired with others to launder the proceeds of an illegal bribery scheme from bank accounts in Antigua, United Arab Emirates and in other places to and through bank accounts in the United States,” stated the indictment, without mentioning that Venezuelan authorities have to triangulate and use multiple financial schemes to evade illegal US and European sanctions to bring food, medicines and gasoline to Venezuela.
They are also accused of receiving around $1.6 billion and transferring about $180 million to bank accounts in the United States.
According to the jury, the defendants allegedly obtained contracts with entities of the Venezuelan government to import and distribute boxes of food and medicine in Venezuela, which in the opinion of the jury were inflated to pay bribes and enrich themselves, but again leaving out of the equation all the financial strategies needed to evade the criminal US blockade.
The indictment added that the accused also ordered funds to be transferred to promote the bribery scheme while they were in the United States, and that they transferred money related to the scheme to bank accounts in the Southern District of Florida.
The US maintains a policy of sanctions and political persecution against the CLAP program, which has also affected the diplomat Alex Saab, who was kidnapped by the US “justice” last weekend.
Álvaro Pulido Vargas is considered by the US as Saab’s business partner, for which he has also been sanctioned by the US since July 2019 and by the United Kingdom since early 2021.
Mainstream media has tried to portray this move by the Biden administration as the result of having obtained information from Alex Saab, when in reality these are processes that US authorities were moving forward for years, and the US “justice” took decisions after consummating Saab’s kidnapping because that is part of the US media campaign in the multi-dimensional hybrid war against Venezuela.
Featured image: Venezuelan National Assembly Deputy José Vielma Mora, former minister for foreign trade, during a parliamentary discussion in May 2021. File photo.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/November 28, 2022