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Venezuela's Chavez part of BBVA's criminal probe

By Aleksander Boyd

London 20.01.05 | Whilst most people continue baffled by the capture of narcoterrorist Rodrigo Granda in Caracas, some equally grave issues are occurring. One of the latest is the inclusion of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the case for money laundering, falsification of accounts and misuse of funds of former directors of Spanish bank BBVA that Judge Baltazar Garzon is conducting. It was announced yesterday that Judge Garzon would give 30 days to Emilio Ybarra, Pedro Luis Uriarte, José Domingo Ampuero, Gervasio Collar, Luis Javier Bastida and Rodolfo Esteban Molinuevo to present defence or request dismissal.

Two payments were made by the BBVA to aspiring president Chavez; one in December 1998 for $525.586 and another in July 1999 for $1 million. Section 4 of article 25 of Venezuela's Law of Political Parties, dealing with obligations, prohibits the acceptance of contributions from foreign companies or from companies whose HQs are based abroad. Worth noting also that the Organic Law of Suffrage and Political Participation contains explicit sanctions for candidates to public office hiding information or providing false accounts with respect to campaign expenses; it contemplates also prison sentences for those receiving anonymous funding. Judge Garzon, the same who nearly got Pinochet, has said that there exists evidence which conduces to conclude that indeed there was malfeasance on the former BBVA board. Judge Garzon stresses in his communiqué the payments to Hugo Chavez.

I have been denouncing for quite some time now the double standards and outright hypocrisy of Hugo Chavez, who as a candidate to Venezuela's presidency, demonstrably received foreign funding; an act which he would criminalized at a latter date in an attempt to curtail NGO's activities, which need be stressed, have no status of political parties. Lawyer Tulio Alvarez filed a case against Chavez in that respect with the Attorney General's office, alas, as the president is above the law, the investigation, or prosecution, never proceeded.

Crimes here and there; coups; assassinations; scores of victims along the path; close relations with terrorist movements, drug dealers and rogue states; rampant corruption; utter disrespect for human rights or private property; when will it finish? How long do 25 million people have to suffer the consequences of this megalomaniac, criminal and insane president?

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