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North American Opinion Research (NAOR) Inc. Part II

By TAC

19.03.06 | During the last couple of weeks reports on the questionable polling agency NAOR (also here) have been published. Apparently these investigations struck a nerve with Ricardo Valbuena and Julio Makarem, since on Thursday March 9th, 2006 they released a two page newspaper communiqué in the widely read Pro-Chavez Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias. Their communiqué was addressed to President Hugo Chavez, governor Diosdado Cabello and the president of the National Assembly Nicolás Maduro calling for "public participation due to defamation against Venezuelan bankers and industrialists orchestrated by an AngloVenezuelan connection".

In short, the Valbuena and Makarem communiqué is essentially a character attack, including insults, lies, and ironically enough could be considered defamation against Alek Boyd, Gustavo Coronel, among others. They also call on the president to open an investigation against these individuals, however what is most striking about the communiqué is the flowery "revolutionary" language that is used throughout. Click here for page 1 and here page two.

Summary of previous finding:

- North American Opinion Research (NAOR) Inc. - Is a "polling" agency that appeared just prior to the presidential Referendum of 2004. It accurately predicted the out come, contrary to exit polling data and more reputable and established polling agencies. It now claims ~10 million voters will vote for Chavez (the exact number Chavez says he will get in Dec. 2006). Again this is contrary to other polling data showing ~6 million voter approval.

- NAOR is not registered in Delaware or Pennsylvania, as it's spokes person and the media have reported. It was discovered to be registered in Florida.

- NAOR Inc. has interrelated board members with Petrotulsa, Industiral Equipment Supply Inc. Vatra Cintec Inc. and Vatra Environment Inc., they all [excluding Vatra Environment] share the same "office space" in Florida [see next point].

- In Florida the registered address is fake, instead it is a tax assistance office.

- The address for NAOR and Petrotulsa share the same Caracas address and phone number.

Part II of the NAOR report includes some additional information about these questionable businesses and individuals.

Since NAOR was first mentioned the information surrounding the company has proven to be elusive; however, on Feb. 4th 2006, that all changed when NAOR finally created a website. Curiously the only way to contact them is via online with no phone number, address, or person to contact. Although in a previous report it has been established that Petrotulsa and NAOR share the same contact information.

The pgbservices.com connection

PGBservices is a Venezuelan company that provides web services, presentations, software, etc. Among it its clients are NAOR Inc., Venezuela's National Assembly TV web site, Petrotulsa, and the legal offices of Valbuena and Makarem, among other sites.

One week after the Valbuena and Makarem communiqué, the web sites of pgbservices.com and Petrotulsa have undergone modifications. The first interesting change is that pgbservices no longer lists NAOR Inc. as one of their web projects, although prior to the communiqué it was listed. Moreover, the Petrotulsa web site has been totally redone which now includes the new eight stars of the Venezuelan flag prominently displayed on the home page and its new "revolutionary statement" - "La Más Importante EPS Petrolera de la Revolutión Socialista".

Interestingly Petrotulsa no longer lists as their international associates "Vatra Environment", "Industrial Equipement Supply Inc." and "Vatra Cintec". Said companies are registered in Florida by members of the Makarem family and two of the three Valbuena brothers. Instead they now list the following companies Vatracin Financial and Credit, Inc., Orbisat Da Amazonia S.A, DM Construction LTDA (Brazil), and Propak System, Ltd. (Canada), all of which seem to be legitimate companies, with Orbisat Da Amazonia S.A providing information on aerial survey progress to the Universidad Simon Bolivar, which is then apparently used by Petrotulsa.

As mentioned above pbgservices also lists, as one of their web designs, the legal and consulting offices of Valbuena and Makarem, coincidentally their address and phone number is the same as for Petrotulsa and NAOR.

2da Avenida, Urb. Campo Alegre, Torre Credival, Planta Baja, local C-1, Caracas, Teléfono: (58-212)- 2652278

Concluding remarks

The fact that within one week of the communiqué released by Valbuena and Makarem, in which they make threats to various individuals, major web changes on the petrotulsa web site and disappearance of NAOR Inc. from the pgbservices web site occurred, suggests that someone is trying to cover up the links between them. On another note, the fact that petrotulsa, NAOR, and the legal and consulting offices of Valbuena and Makarem all share the same offices and phone number is a little strange, especially when the services are somewhat unrelated, or are they? Below is a hypothesis that explains how these seemingly unrelated business (oil, legal, and polling) may in actuality not be so unrelated.

Ricardo Valbuena seems to have been somewhat unsuccessful or at least unhappy with the "old PDVSA", needless to say he and Julio Makarem seem to be doing quite well under the "new PDVSA". So if you were Valbuena and Makarem, and you knew that if Chavez left office you would lose your oil contracts, what steps would you take to protect your assets? Well, you can create a legal and consulting agency that is able to take advantage of the weak yet highly favorable judicial system to dispose of any inquisitive individuals that may pose a threat to your company and newly acquired assets. In addition, to protect the future of your business and assets the creation of a polling agency that always reports favorable data to appease Chavez, and to give a sense of legitimacy to the national electoral council (CNE) may also be beneficial. Again this is simply a hypothesis, yet a plausible one in the Venezuelan Bolibanana Revolution.

A challenge to the interested reader

- So which Valbuena brother is heading which company?

- How is NAOR influencing elections in Peru?

- What legal and consulting background do Valbuena and Makarem have (ie. education and experience)?

- Who controls Vatracin Financial and Credit Inc. (do note that Vatra seems to be a favorite word used by Makarem and Valbuena)?



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