We settled down for a little light Sunday reading – the just-published externally audited financial statements which Venezuelan banks are required by law to publish every six months.
The financials are available to the general public at the Asociacion Bancaria de Venezuela website.
But much to our surprise (not!), there aren’t any published financials for Banpro or Bolivar Banco, which are owned by Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco.
Baninvest – owned by Arne Chacon and Pedro Torres Ciliberto – hasn’t published an externally audited financial report since 30 June 2008, and the last one before that was 31 December 2006.
Fernandez Barrueco bought Banpro in 2005 while the son of its controlling shareholder, Jorge Azpurua, was being held in Caracas by kidnappers who are known to have links to current and past senior officials in Disip, CICPC and DGIM.
Bolivar Banco’s owner, Eligio Cedeno, who has been jailed illegally/unconstitutionally at Disip’s Helicoide headquarters for over two years, also was also forced to sell his bank, reportedly at pennies on the dollar, to Fernandez Barrueco.
Why do Bolibourgois bankers like Fernandez Barrueco, Chacon and Torres Ciliberto get special dispensation from Sudeban to ignore the law?
Sudeban officials decline to give any explanations. But Caracas Gringo knows that Sudeban chief Edgar Hernandez Behrens keeps sensitive documents on these Bolibourgeois banks inside a secure safe in his office.
Hernandez Behrens is at Sudeban basically to protect the Bolibourgeois bankers who, in reality, serve as “testaferros” (front-men) or key business associates of Public Works and Housing Minister Diosdado Cabello (Godgiven Hair) and former Vice President/Defense/Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel (aka Grima Wormtongue).
Godgiven is arguably the second most powerful man in Venezuela, after President Chavez. And Grima is the human manifestation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Balrog – a character who would chill the blood of Machiavelli or the Borgias.
Perhaps that is why these Bolivarian banks are allowed to evade the rules and do whatever they wish.
Sensible “chavista” servants don’t cross their masters.