The most snarkworthy?

I try to keep this site focused on oil and other natural resources but once in a while I need to snark off. Luckily I know Venezuela pretty well, and its veins of snarkery make the Orinoco Belt and Las Cristinas look like minor deposits. However there are governments in the Americas even more snarkworthy. The latest carload from the Honduran snarkmine:

The Lobo government is complaining that a gift from Venezuela of $100 million to help in disaster preparedness was “diverted” for use in the presidency. Strange…I could have sworn that the Honduran presidency had a little emergency last year that may have required some civil defense money. No, no, not remembering. Must have been somewhere else.

Now mind you, it’s totally possible this was all a scam and the money was stolen. There are scams in Venezuelan foreign aid. Still, when you’re running a government that only exists because of a coup d’etat and now controls all of Honduras’s money, it’s a bit rich to complain that the old (elected) government may have spent some money in trying to turn back a coup. I mean maybe if you didn’t go couping all the time your government would have more time and money to deal with the real business of running a country, when the utterly predictable flooding shows up. Rant over, back to our usual oily selves.

9 thoughts on “The most snarkworthy?

  1. sapitosetty Post author

    Oh and in reply to Boz — very good questions. There is an excellent chance the money was never delivered in the first place. Recall the $2 billion dedicated to the Iran-Venezuela binational bank. This has raised all sorts of hackles in financial, criminal and intelligence circles, in part because there’s no public record of where the money went. Personally I’d be surprised if either side ever handed over more than 5% of what they committed, though as usual I’m glad to be shown wrong. Venezuela has failed to fulfill aid and investment commitments to Haiti (giant aid pledge), Argentina (LNG plant), China (refinery), Vietnam (refinery, binational bank), Cuba (petchem plant, new refinery), Iran (gasoline shipments), Syria (refinery), Mali (joint mining company), Niger (joint mining company) and Mauritania (refinery), to name a few off the top of my head.

    1. oroman

      Hey! Wait a moment!! They did send the Haitians some aid- rotten-, but at least they sent something!!!

  2. Roberto N

    Hold on a minute, snarkmeister!

    The article you linked to states that:

    A) The money was received by the Zelaya administration 3 months before the pijama clad Zelaya went on a midnite flight.

    B) 98% of the money went to the “Casa Presidencial”.

    C) no one is telling where it went.

    Regardless of whether Zelaya partied it up or spent it “defending” his regime is a moot point. The money was destined for X and was spent on Y.
    In Spanish, that is called “malversacion de fondos”.

    Our buddy CAP was impeached for that offense and removed from office. If memory serves it was because he used money destined for one thing on Violeta Chamorro’s security and it was about 8 million $.

    I’m not an expert in Honduran law, but it’s not hard to imagine that they too have laws regarding “malversacion de fondos”.

    So I don’t understand your sarcasm about “civil defense” when clearly the money was in Zelaya’s hands way before the “midnight Costa Rican 7 Eleven run”.

    1. sapitosetty Post author

      The article says the money was to help prevent disasters. It doesn’t say which agency was assigned to do that. It’s quite possible that the money was going to be spent by the presidency, something that happens in many governments. I don’t know. I’m willing to admit that I don’t know much about it, and I’m also willing to call a coup a coup. My tendency is to not give coupsters the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile you seem allergic to even calling it a coup. Odd.

      1. Roberto N

        From the article: “Informó que Venezuela entregó 100 millones de dólares en marzo del año pasado a la Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (Copeco), que usó dos millones en protección civil y el resto lo trasladó a la Casa Presidencial.

        “Sabemos que 98 millones de dólares fueron transferidos a la Presidencial, aunque desconocemos el funcionario que allí los recibió porque no hay documentación que indique su destino”, añadió.

        Según Mejía, los recursos los donó Venezuela para obras de mitigación y prevención de desastres y comprar alimentos para damnificadas de los fenómenos naturales que anualmente afectan al país.

        El dinero los recibió el gobierno del derrocado presidente Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009), a menos de tres meses de ser expulsado del poder. Por el delito, aún no se ha presentado una acusación formal en los tribunales.”

        That’s from the link you provided. It says the money was destined for their “civil protection agency” and the rest went to the presidency, where it promptly disappeared.

        My bone of contention, as it were, is this: You make it sound like the money was received 24 hours before the removal of Zelaya and gee, who wouldn’t snag that money to defend himself?

        I read the article you linked to and got a different reading. Zelaya, or his office, got his hands on the money and it disappeared. Money that was supposed to go towards mitigating disasters and for food relief.

        From your reply, I take it you believe that what happened in Honduras was a coup. I do not think it was a coup. I think it ws stupid to deport Zelaya, but I also think that constitutionally Michellitti et al had a solid argument.

        You and I will therefore agree to disagree vis a vis Honduras, and that will be that.

        And please don’t assume (you know what that does, right?) I support corrupt regimes in tropical places. I’ve had my fill of them, and had plenty to last a couple lifetimes.

        I just thought I saw a couple of inconsistencies and thought I’d mention them.

    1. Roberto N

      Thanks for the link!

      Interesting, the donation of 100$million may not have ocurred after all, as you speculated in the article.

      Whatever the case, it will be a while before we know beyond doubt what actually happened.

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