Editorial: Responding to the Controversy over Misappropriation of Humanitarian Funds
At the PanAm Post, we wish for the success of interim president Juan Guaido; however, we will demand of his administration the same things we demanded of Chavismo: effectiveness and honesty.
Six years ago we founded the PanAm Post with the primary objective of defending freedom. We defend the freedom of action of the individual both economically and politically and personally. We confront anyone who promotes ideas that limit human action, and even more so who in the name of the interests of a collective assumption put the state above the individual or try to suppress the concept of representative liberal democracy, which has existed since it was invented in United States in 1776.
The defense of these principles forces us to be intolerant also with a very common practice in Latin America: self-censorship. At the PanAm Post we are convinced that only through transparency, can the scourge of corruption be defeated on the continent. This is an indispensable condition for the region to emerge from underdevelopment and economic backwardness.
We published an article by a great journalist, and co-Editor in Chief of this publication, Orlando Avendaño. It is a product of considerable research, in which we point out an irrefutable case of improper handling of funds. Funds that should have been destined to facilitate humanitarian aid to needy Venezuelans and to support the military that risked accepting the call of the legitimate president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, and joining the democratic forces.
This investigative work reflects the possibly fraudulent financial management of people close to President Guaidó’s party. The fact that this publication supports the legitimacy of President Guaidó and supports his efforts to end the usurpation of the dictator Maduro, will not prevent us from writing on this subject of critical importance.
Throughout its history, Venezuela has suffered greatly from the effects of official corruption. In 1857 those sent to London by the Government of José Tadeo Monagas, to negotiate a large loan, ended up misappropriating a good part of the funds. Forty-four years later, in 1901, Venezuela suffered a naval blockade by major European powers seeking to collect, in part, on that loan.
The story is long and painful, but all the acts of corruption that took place over the course of 200 years are small in comparison with the systematic plundering of the country during 20 years of Chavismo. We could even add up all the major cases of public corruption in Latin America in the last 20 years, and that sum of the stolen funds does not even approach the sum in the cases of corruption linked to Nicolás Maduro and Hugo Chávez.
By way of example, it is enough to mention the amount of funds seized in the United States from Tareck El Aissami, then Vice President of Venezuela: 500 million dollars, or the one billion dollars in bribes received by Alejandro Andrade, former Treasurer of the Republic under Hugo Chávez, who admitted to accepting a bribe of that amount in a court in the United States.
The figures above are just the tip of the iceberg of looting of what was one of the richest nations on the planet. To this we must add the transfer to the Communist regime in Havana of more than 50 billion dollars in 20 years. We know of no other case in Latin America where government officials have illegally stolen funds to allocate them to a foreign country with such magnitude.
In cases like this, the figures reported in the Avendaño article seem to be decimals. They are tiny, almost irrelevant, by comparison. The seriousness of them, however, can not be hidden. Venezuelans expect a future post-chavista government, marked by its effectiveness and transparency.
We know that the government of Juan Guaidó is cornered by the dictatorship. We know the pressures to which he is subjected and that even Vice President Edgar Zambrano has been kidnapped by the regime. However, these same pressures make it necessary for President Guaidó to take the time to form a braintrust of capable and experienced people to protect him from this type of error.
At the PanAm Post we wish for the success of the interim government of President Juan Guaidó in his battle against the usurper. In this fight for freedom, they have our strong support. At the same time, we will continue to demand from their government what we have always demanded of Chavismo: effectiveness and honesty.