El Universal today is reporting that 20 billion dollars were embezzled out of CADIVI between 2011 and 2013.
The news comes through deputy Ricardo Sanguino (PSUV), president of the Comision Permanente de Finanzas y Desarrollo Economico de la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela [Permanent Finance and Economic Development Commission of the Venezuelan National Assembly], who says that an investigation carried out by the commission found that CADIVI approved $20 billion worth of money “for imports that never entered the country”. Earlier this week, Sanguino admitted that there was corruption inside CADIVI, and that the government was “very permissive” to it by not exercising more control over the process.
$20 billion is approximately 95% of the total foreign reserves in the country as of two days ago. To give you even more perspective, according to El Universal, there are approximately 14 billion dollars tied up in the airline, medical, food, automotive and chemical industries.
News of the embezzlement comes at the same time as the Confederacion Venezolana de Industriales (CONINDUSTRIA) warned that the government has yet to repay approximately 30% of the debt it owes to private industry. Ismael Vigil, executive president of CONINDUSTRIA, warned that the situation is dire, as it placed Venezuelan industry in a situation where “… industries will enter default, stop paying its providers, which could compromise its ability to obtain supplies, raw materials, machinery, etc.”.
In Other News
Polling stations have been installed in San Cristobal, Tachira, and San Diego, Carabobo, ahead of the municipal elections to elect news mayors tomorrow. The mayors of the two cities – Daniel Ceballos and Enzo Scararno, respectively – are currently serving prison sentences for their involvement in the protest movement. Enzo’s trial in particular was widely denounced as a farce, having taken place over a single day before a court of dubious legality, and having been granted only 10 minutes to state his defence.
There is a large demonstration taking place in the Valencia and Naguanagua areas of Carabobo state to commemorate the 100 days since the start of the protests. Some pictures:
A man shows buckshot injures:
A protester with a sign in Naguanagua. The sign reads, “They kill us with bullets, they kill us with gas, and now they want to poison us with water”:
The sign reads, “There are no anaesthetics. How can I operate on you?”: