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The corruption of the Vargas tragedy in plain numbers

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

15.02.05 | Today Tal Cual published the above table with the funds approved for the reconstruction of Vargas state. These are Bolivars at the exchange rate at the time. The first line is the US$ 1 billion assigned by the National Assembly (ANC), then there is the international funds at the same exchange rate of Bs. 697 per US$. The rest are smaller amounts for expropriations, building housing, the famous “sobremarcha” to reactivate the economy in 2002 and special assignments to Vargas in 2002 and 2003.

These numbers are very similar to those given out today by Deputy Pedro Castillo in today’s El Universal. According to Castillo these were the funds:

- US$ 1billion or Bs. 697 billion approved by the Constituent Assembly and published in the Official Gazette of February 2nd. 2000. The first President of Corpovargas said in August 2000 that the reconstruction would take three years and it would cost Bs. 650 billion.

- International aid, which in a newspaper insert on December 15th. 2000, the Government said amounted to US$ 656 million.

- Funds from the “Sobremarcha” project, which the Government said amounted to Bs. 80 billion.

- Bs. 20 billion from the Venezuelan Investment Fund (Fondo de Inversiones de Venezuela)

According to Castillo most of these funds ended up being used to repurchasing public debt bonds, using the arguments that the capital would increase. “We all know such operations are only good so that you receive a spread under the table and somebody make a bunch of ill obtained gains”, says Castillo adding: “ They invested part of the funds in building the “Vargas Solidarity” suburb in front of the airport, where half or more of the apartments were assigned to members of the military, the Mayor of Vargas and even councilman Carlos Herrera pointed out that the President of the Urban Development Fund gave (murdered) Prosecutor Danilo Anderson two apartments which he later sold.

This my friends is the blatant corruption of the pretty revolution! Of course, it is easier to blame Bush, the strike, the coup or whatever than face reality.

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