According to the Spanish-language PanAm Post, sympathetic to the Trump regime’s anti-President Maduro coup plot, figures close to designated White House puppet/usurper in waiting Guaido “seize[d] funds for humanitarian aid [meant for Venezuelans] in Colombia.”
Clearly with his knowledge, his so-called Popular Will party members stole tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for the UN Refugee Agency in Cucuta, Colombia, likely including funds from millions of dollars the White House allocated for the coup plot, disguised as humanitarian aid.
On Tuesday, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab said his office “initiated an investigation on the grounds of evidence made public by international media and national authorities about corruption in the handling of money allocated to assist Venezuelans in Colombia.”
So-called humanitarian aid funds raised by billionaire Richard Branson at a concert last February, likely along with US funds, were stolen by Guaido party members.
His regional coordinator Kevin Rojas and chief of staff Rossana Barrera are accused of stealing the funds for luxury items, high-living, and prostitutes, perhaps stashing unknown amounts in tax haven accounts abroad.
The report explained that Rojas and Barrera inflated the number of Venezuelans in their care for maximum funding they embezzled for personal financial gain and use.
Besides grand theft, RT said “Guaido’s staff botched the distribution of [donated food]…an estimated 60 percent rotting in the warehouses and having to be thrown away.”
Documents obtained by the PanAm Post include more information about the scandal yet to be revealed.
The scheme became known after Cucuta hotels evicted Venezuelan soldiers who deserted cross-border because of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.
A Europa Press report said some of the funds were used to finance destabilization of Venezuela. AG Saab slammed Guaido, calling him boss of the “corruption mafia,” holding him responsible for the scheme he surely knew about and may have personally profited from.
“[W]e suspect [him and his cohorts] of laundering money, corruption and organized crime,” said Saab, adding, “The funds misused by these people designated by Guaido as his representatives in Colombia are taken from Venezuela, so it is in our jurisdiction to investigate.”
While the above revelations haven’t lessened Trump regime support for Guaido, its point man on the ground for the coup plot, recent opposition-aligned Datincorp polling data show only about one-third of Venezuelans support him, the number very likely inflated.
Small numbers showing up for his rallies in upscale areas where his support is highest indicate he’s increasingly reviled.
News of the corruption scandal involving figures close to him will likely weaken him further.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.