Former attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz revealed today that Maduro received $35 million for his 2013 presidential campaign from Odebrecht, the company at the heart of what is likely the largest corruption scandal in history. Ortega Diaz shared the allegation on her Twitter account, which came directly from the man who was head of Odebrecht in Venezuela in 2013, Euzenando Prazeres de Azevedo.
According to Azevedo, a high-ranking Venezuelan official named Americo Mata approached him in 2013 and asked him to give Maduro $50 million dollars for his presidential campaign. Azevedo and Mata eventually agreed on the sum of $35 million, which Azevedo gave Maduro.
The Odebrecht corruption scandal involves hundreds of construction projects spread across 12 countries, and involved approximately $3.3 billion in dirty money. Odebrecht executives funneled money into the pockets of corrupt politicians in exchange for lucrative construction contracts.
According to Azevedo, the $35 million went to Maduro under assurances that if Maduro won the election, Odebrecht projects would be given “priority” by his regime.
Azevedo’s video testimony can be found here.
Ortega Diaz Will Take Evidence of Crimes Against Humanity to The Hague
Ortega Diaz also revealed today that she is planning to personally present evidence that Maduro regime officials have committed crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, a move that could potential spark formal prosecutions.
Ortega Diaz told reporters today that she has all of the evidence ready for presentation in a case file, and that it involves allegations that regime officials committed extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations. Ortega Diaz did not reveal how many individual pieces of evidence she was planning to present to the ICC, or which regime officials are implicated in the crimes.
Hinting that she would reveal more information implicating the Maduro regime in human rights violations tomorrow, Ortega Diaz said that the evidence that she had ready to present to the ICC covered a period of five or six years, and that it includes violations committed during this year’s protests.
The former attorney general made the comments in Geneva, Switzerland, after meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. She claims that during the meeting, she spoke to Al Hussain about the electoral fraud that the regime has committed and is likely to commit in this Sunday’s gubernatorial election.
Below, an image of Luisa Ortega Diaz meeting the High Commissioner today:
Ortega Diaz Has Already Shared Information with Washington
The deluge of news from the former attorney general continued as Ortega Diaz told reporters that she has already shared information that implicated regime officials in cases of corruption with the government of the United States. She made the announcement by saying:
The Venezuelan anti-corruption directors and attorneys who are with me have been meeting with prosecutors in the United States and other authorities in order to exchange information (…) we have given them information that compromises high-ranking government officials.
Ortega Diaz clarified that she has not personally traveled to the United States since fleeing Venezuela under regime persecution in August, but that she planned to do so in the future.
Maduro Breaks Law by Presenting 2018 Budget to Constituent Assembly
Earlier today, Maduro presented the 2018 national budget to the Constituent Assembly, a body of hand-picked regime candidates who was elected in what is widely understood to be a fraudulent election. The move is patently illegal, since article 311 of the national constitution states that the president must present the budget to the National Assembly.
Giving the budget to the Constituent Assembly virtually guarantees that it will not be scrutinized, and that it will be approved without question. The opposition-controlled National Assembly is likely to have poured over the budget with a fine-toothed comb, as is its prerogative.
Article 313 of the national constitution states that if the budget is not presented to the National Assembly in time, the budget for the current year will remain in effect until such a time as the new budget is brought before the legislature. Maduro is unlikely to abide by this.
Regime Will Deploy 260,000 Security Forces for Sunday’s Vote
General Remigio Ceballos, the commander of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces’ Operational Strategic Command, announced today that the regime would deploy 260,000 security forces throughout the country to “protect Venezuela” during Sunday’s gubernatorial election. The figure counts officers from every state and municipal police force, as well as the National Bolivarian Police.
General Ceballos made the announcement during a televised address in which he said:
Our fundamental task is to protect Venezuela, its territorial integrity, sovereignty, [and] national independence, and we will not allow foreign intervention [in Sunday’s vote]. The people can count on their humanist Armed Forces, [which is] prepared to protect human rights.
The general also said that anyone found to be “trying to sabotage” Sunday’s election “will be severely punished”.