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Maduro Spent over USD $5 Million to Lobby Its Own “Nemesis,” the US Government

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Feb 24, 2017, 11:33 am
Nicolas Maduro has extensively lobbied the US government, largely in relation to petroleum (
Nicolas Maduro has extensively lobbied the US government, largely in relation to petroleum (Diario Contraste).

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More than five million dollars has been invested by the government of Nicolas Maduro in political lobbying in the United States, a country that has been accused on several occasions of trying to overthrow him.

Despite the fact that since Maduro took over, he spent much of his time antagonizing Barack Obama, the reality is that at the same time he had millions of dollars at his disposal to improve relations between the two countries.

A report from Diario las Américas revealed that Maduro‘s government has spent USD $5,340,000 in political lobbying in the US. Which represents 20.48% of Venezuela’s lobbying budget since the chavistas took power.

“The government of Nicolás Maduro has quintupled Venezuelan state spending on lobbying US agencies since Maduro took over the chavista movement in 2013,” the paper said.

The information was detailed by Opensecrets.org, a part of the Center for Political Responsibility that analyzes the funds used by the state as part of lobbying activities.

According to the investigations, Venezuela used most of the money to try to measure the impact on PDVSA, and its subsidiary Citgo, of the sanctions imposed by the government of Barack Obama against Venezuelan officials.

According to Opensecrets, between 1999 and 2014, PDVSA spent USD $4,433,933 in lobbying in Congress, while Citgo Petroleum lobbied for funds amounting to USD $5,483,993, giving a total of US $ 9,917,986 for that purpose.

Between 2016 and 2017, PDVSA and Citgo have lobbied at least 14 agencies of the US Government. This includes 13 instances of lobbying the Senate and House of Representatives, 5 at the US State Department, 4 at the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, The Army Corps of Engineers, The US Army, The Executive Office of the President, The Office of the Vice President, the White House, The Budget Office, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and one instance at the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the Maritime Administration.

These figures show that while PDVSA and Citigo spent almost ten million dollars in fifteen years for the lobbying process, Nicolás Maduro’s regime has spent more than half of that figure in almost four years.

Source: Diario Las Américas

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Twenty Ex-Presidents Condemn Cuban Regime for Prohibiting Visits to Dissident Award Ceremony

By: Karina Martín - Feb 24, 2017, 10:55 am
Cuban regime

EspañolThe Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA) signed a letter expressing their dissatisfaction with the Cuban regime following the denial of entry to former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, and the Chilean exile Mariana Aylwin. At least 22 former state and government signatories expressed their "discontent and rejection of the decision of the dictatorial government of Raúl Castro to deny the entry into Cuba of former Mexican President Felipe Calderón of OAS Secretary Luis Almagro and , Also of Laura Mariana Aylwin." Read More: After Censorship and Blocked Visas, Award Ceremony Honoring Dissident Paya Held in Secret Read More: Former Mexican Minister Blasts Pena Nieto for Weak Response to Cuban Censorship According to the director of IDEA, Asdrúbal Aguiar, among the signers are: José María Aznar (Spain), Vicente Fox (Mexico), Sebastián Piñera and Ricardo Lagos (Chile) and Álvaro Uribe (Colombia). The nearly two dozen ex-presidents explained that they are aware that "every state has powers to provide, by law, the necessary requirements for the entry of foreigners into their jurisdiction." However, they pointed out that "the right to free movement and movement of persons can only be restricted, to the extent necessary, in a democratic society, to prevent violations of the law itself or to protect public safety and order; Which is not the case in the circumstances that gave rise to the unacceptable restrictions place upon former President Calderón, Secretary General Almagro, and former Minister Aylwin, for whom we express our total solidarity and support." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The Cuban government said that they denied entry to Almagro, Calderón and Aylwin because they intended to cause an "unacceptable provocation" in Cuban territory. However, the IDEA clarified that the argument used by the Cuban dictatorship to prevent entry to the Caribbean island rings hollow. "I know that none of us had the slightest intention of making a provocation with the Cuban system," said the Secretary General of the OAS. Sources: Cubanet, Radioagricultura.

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