Banco Confederado, the insolvent bank owned nominally by Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco, has purchased over $744 million of “national treasury assets” (“activos de tesoreria nacional”) within the past 10 days, roughly.
The precise nature of those national treasury assets remains unknown.
Reports also are circulating at the highest levels of the national banking system that Banco Confederado has purchased stock in Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco’s Panama-based commercial tuna fishing fleet.
In effect, Fernandez Barrueco’s bank has acquired stock in Fernandez Barrueco’s offshore tuna fleet, using some of the funds it obtained since the start of August 2009 from its new multinational corporate client Telefonica via its Venezuelan subsidiary Movistar.
These transactions have caused a very significant contraction in monetary liquidity since the start of August.
But the full impact of this liquidity contraction will not be reflected in the Central Bank’s weekly monetary liquidity reports because the institution is now controlled directly by the regime of President Hugo Chavez.
This means the Central Bank now routinely cooks and fudges the official data.
Moreover, the Central Bank certainly will not publish anything remotely approaching the real monetary liquidity data immediately after confirming a 2.4% contraction in GDP during the second quarter of this year.
Officially, Venezuela’s GDP contracted 1% during the first six months of 2009, but unofficially the economy’s real contraction likely is greater.
Remember that the Chavez-controlled Central Bank lost all of its autonomy and independence some time ago, and now reports only what the Chavez regime wishes to report.
Sadly, Venezuelans who have a right to know the truth about the state of their economy and the organized criminal activities of the Chavez regime and its Bolibourgeois “entrepreneurs” like Fernandez Barrueco and gang won’t read (or hear) about Banco Confederado’s latest corrupt financial shenanigans in the mainstream news media.
Most newspaper publishers and television station owners in Venezuela, with the notable exception of Globovision, now actively practice self-censorship, or else have sold their souls in Faustian bargains with senior figures in the Chavez regime.
But we all know what happened to Faust when the time came to collect debts owed to the devil.
Witness the tragic surrender of Bobolongo aka Miguel Henrique Otero, publisher of the El Nacional daily newspaper.
El Nacional is one of the top two national dailies in Venezuela, the other being El Universal.
El Nacional has distinguished itself over the past decade of criminal “chavismo” by consistently maintaining an independent, critical stance in its news coverage.
But recently El Nacional’s editorial independence has been melting down like the polar ice cap.
In fact, El Nacional’s first couple – Bobolongo and Antonieta Jurado Blanco – now tell the newspaper’s editors what can, and cannot, be published.
For example, last week El Nacional’s editors had prepared a two-page spread in Estrategia, its weekly insert on economic issues, informing readers about Banco Confederado, Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco and the bizarre deal struck with Telefonica’s Venezuelan subsidiary Movistar during the late July visit to Caracas of Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.
El Nacional secured the source material for that two-page spread from Caracas Gringo’s blog.
Estrategia had been printed and was ready for distribution when orders from above arrived:
Gather up every last printed copy of Estrategia with the two-page story on Banco Confederado, Movistar/Telefonica and Fernandez Barrueco, and burn the entire print run immediately.
This caused a huge ruckus within El Nacional, so huge, in fact, that Telmo Almada, editor of Estrategia, reportedly resigned on 19 August, according to Caracas Gringo’s sources inside El Nacional. (Caveat: Caracas Gringo has never met or spoken with Mr. Almada.)
The individual who issued the orders from high up to burn last week’s Estrategia is Bobolongo’s new wife, Antonieta Jurado Blanco, who was the unnamed subject of a column in the 11 August 2009 edition of Reporte Diario de la Economia under the headline “La Reina de las Cruces.”
Antonieta is a “mujer de negocios” – a businesswoman, according to many people who know her.
Bobolongo dumped his first wife Carmen Ramia to take up with Antonieta, and by all accounts it was very ugly.
Mrs. Ramia, a woman of class and distinction, was literally kicked out of her marriage and home without much more than a dime to her name.
But before Antonieta managed to “encucar” old Bobolongo, she first went after two of the country’s most prominent and happily married businessmen, neither of whom are chavistas, by the way.
Fortunately for them, these men distanced themselves from her faster than a dog flees from a furious skunk.
Did you know, Bobolongo, that you were Antonieta’s third choice?
But maybe it wasn’t love at first sight. Maybe Bobolongo made his Faustian pact with the Chavez regime via Antonieta for political reasons.
Antonieta, who by the way controls Noticias24 but owns only 49% of that news aggregator site, was “hooked up” politically (and, some say, in other ways) with former Greater Caracas Mayors Alfredo Pena and Juan Barreto.
Pena used to have a widely read and very aggressive investigative column in El Nacional before he joined the Chavez revolution, became very wealthy as Greater Caracas Mayor, and then fled the country when Chavez decided to lop off his head after the events of April 2002.
Barreto, also a one-time journalist who never measured up to Pena’s soles before donning the red apparel of a Bolivarian revolutionary, also reportedly is in line for a Bolivarian guillotine.
Reportedly, Antonieta now is very close to the new Greater Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma. Be carefool, Antonio!
Bobolongo’s prestigious newspaper has managed to survive ten years of Chavez thanks to its good relations with the Greater Caracas Mayor’s office, which purchased beaucoup institutional advertisements in El Nacional.
But with Ledezma’s election, the Chavez regime shut off all financial support for the Greater Caracas Mayor. Now El Nacional reportedly is so far out on a limb financially that even a gentle breeze could send Bobolongo’s family-owned newspaper plummeting into the abyss.
So, perhaps, Bobolongo surrendered to Antonieta’s charms in a desperate “business decision” intended to save El Nacional from certain death.
But if that’s the case, Bobolongo may have miscalculated, and the consequences could be potentially fatal for his family’s ownership of El Nacional.
Antonieta reportedly is very close to senior regime figures like Public Works and Housing Minister Diosdado Cabello and Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon.
Antonieta also is very close to Grima Wormtongue (aka Marciano aka JVR).
who also used to have his own column in El Nacional.
So, perhaps, Bobolongo thinks that having married Antonieta he has saved El Nacional.
But here’s the nub of it all: Grima Wormtongue reportedly wishes to gain control of El Nacional. And Grima Wormtongue usually gets what he wants since Chavez has been in power.
A very old friend of El Nacional’s publisher says, “A Bobolongo lo van a volver mierda mas pronto de lo que se imagina.”
PS: Bobolongo is a nickname given to Miguel Henrique Otero by his social peers while he was barely in his teen years. Translated roughly into English, Bobolongo means “Dumbass.”