Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Argentine-Venezuela Campaign Scandal Coverup: 4 arrested in Miami

In light of all the vicious name-calling and accusations heaped upon the U.S. by Hugo "Commie" Chavez and his Chavista cronies, I find the following absolutely hilarious;

Get this, on August 4th a Venezuelan-American, Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, flies from Venezuela to Argentina in a private jet. On that same chartered Cessna are 7 other passengers, including one Claudio Uberti, who just so happens to be a senior Argentine government official. When they arrive in Buenos Aires, customs officials find a bag full 'o money, (about 800,000 U.S. dollars worth, no less) belonging to Antonini! The money is duly confiscated and Antonini, luckily, is allowed to fly back to South Florida, where he resides.

So, why was Antonini in possession of such a large sum of cold, hard U.S. cash? Drug money? Nope. How about attempting to influence an upcoming presidential election in Argentina! A donation courtesy of the Chavez government to the campaign coffers of Argentine candidate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who happened to win the election on October 28, 2007. In other words, a gift from one lefty to another.

What transpires, thereafter, is straight out of some John Le Carré spy novel:

Soon after the seizure of monies in Buenos Aires, 4 Venezuelans and 1 Uruguayan national set out to convince Antonini to keep his mouth shut regarding the source (and destination) of said cash. Incidentally, 2 of those- Franklin Duran and Carlos Kauffmann- were friends and business partners of Antonini. The pressure to cover up the potential scandal, including threats to both Antonini and his children, continued up until December 11th. Those threats ended that same evening with the arrest of Duran, 40, Kauffmann, 35, Moises Maionica, 37, and Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, 40. Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, 37, remains at large. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), on December 12th they were formally charged with being illegal agents of a foreign government.

Three Venezuelans and an Uruguayan national were arrested last night and appeared in federal court in Miami today on charges of acting and conspiring to act as agents of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela within the United States, without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States, as required by law, announced Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for Justice Department’s National Security Division, R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office.

All the information leading up to their arrests was gathered by the feds. Federal prosecutors had taped various conversations between Antonini (who was wired) and Duran and Kauffmann, including one session at a Fort Lauderdale eatery.

The last meeting took place on Dec. 11, 2007, when defendants Maionica, Duran, and another individual met with Antonini to discuss
the creation of false documents in furtherance of the cover-up.

Of course, Venezuelan officials are denying any culpability, and claiming this is some nefarious U.S. plot to discredit Venezuela and all the other left-leaning countries in Latin America:

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, speaking live on Dando y Dando, a national television program, accused the U.S. government of engaging in a ``political, psychological and media war against the progressive governments of the hemisphere.''

Madame Fernández de Kirchner concurs. Well sure, who wants to get caught with their pants around their ankles. Kirchner did win by a landslide, but that's not the point. The point is Chavez, once again, was attempting to interfere in the internal affairs of another country.

Interesting Side Notes:

1. Duran and Kauffman are very wealthy Venezuelans who own houses in Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove (exclusive areas of Miami). Duran owns a private jet. Nice socialists.

2. For all of Hugo's complaints about the U.S. dollar, what currency did he use? 800,000.00 greenbacks.

"Soon we will not talk about dollars because the dollar is falling in value and the empire of the dollar is crashing," Chavez said in comments translated into Farsi from Spanish. "Naturally, by the crash of the dollar, America's empire will crash," Chavez said at a joint news conference with Ahmadinejad.

3. Chavez is forever accusing others of interfering with his country: just prior to the recent defeat on constitutional changes , when he noticed public support was waning,
Mr. Chavez raised the possibility last week that the United States could interfere with the election. Officials in Washington repudiated his comments, but Mr. Chavez followed up by threatening to cut off oil shipments to the United States if he saw evidence of any interference.

And yet, he himself is guilty of doing just that: During the Peruvian elections in 2006, Chavez threatened to break ties with Peru if Alan Garcia won. He was backing Ollanta Humala. Garcia won, but not by a huge margin. 52.6% to 47.4% of the votes.

Chavez is the personification of hypocrisy.

Further Reading:

USDOJ Press Release
Miami Herald Article
Criminal Complaint

Hat Tip: Citizen Feathers


Karen said...

Some stories, you just can't make them up. This is one of those. Truth is stranger than fiction. Good Lord.

MondaythroughSunday said...

Wow..what irks me the most is that people try to make socialism the way to go and there is so much "proof" all over and including history..that proves that it is bad thinking!! Amazing story!

Renegade Eye said...

If Chavez wanted to send $$ for the elections, he could have easily done it successfully. There is no proof of Venezuelan government involvement.

It is true that in Argentina, the poorest peasants, are given $15.00 to vote. That is a long time tradition.

Frasypoo said...

Wow!!!I feel so naive !

Pat Jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Jenkins said...

say it isn't so!!! my argentinian hottie couldn't be crooked? my christmas is ruined!!

Rens Nem said...

A Venezuelan military C-130 landed in a remote town in Bolivia just two weeks ago. Thinking it was full of guns, the locals began throwing rocks at it, but not before the plane suceeded in discharging a passenger... a Venezuelan carrying a valise with $880,000 (US) cash in it.

So within the past month, TWO suitcases filled with cash from Hugo have showed up in various South American countries w/important votes/elections underway.

Coincidence? If I were a pick-pocket at an airport, I'd start targetting Venezuelans w/briefcases...

Incognito said...

KAREN: 'Aint that the truth. He just has to have his grubby little hands in everything in that region. Remember the quake victims and the tuna with his picture on the can?!! Grunt.

MONDAY: Very true Mel. I'm not sure what the appeal is, other than to the lazy one's who want to be taken care of and the priviledged "ruling class".. cos that's what they are, though they like to think otherwise.

REN: Well, we shall see what happens. You and I both have very differing views on Chavez. I still think he's a puffed up idiot who wants people to love him.

FRASY: Don't. You won't see this in many newspapers.

PATJ: Yes, your little hottie is a Chavez-loving lefty.

RENS NEM: Thanks for that info. Not surprising at all. Too bad he keeps pilfering money from his country to send to other countries, when his people can't even find the basic food staples.