Monday, July 17, 2006

Venezuela, Miami: Boliburgesia The Chavista Lootocracy

El Bling-blingeo

Todays Miami Herald and in Spanish El Nuevo Herald reports on the phenomenon, that people in Caracas and Miami have long known about, the nouveau-riche and old money in Venezuela who are making like bandits off the Chavez Robo-Lucion. They strut around Miami buying up real estate, yachts, cars, and expensive goodies of all sorts. Just about everyone here has an absentee Venezuelan landlord.

Spotters Guide
At least in Miami they seem to flock around The Dadeland Mall area. The old rich, look just like the same Latin American old rich who have spent Latin America's foreign aid in Miami for decades. In terms of the nouveau Chavistas, the look is very expensively dressed folks, in strange combinations of Tony Montana (if military) and long-hair South American grad student, young but not necesarily hip, lacking the Euro-trash mannerisms and confidence of Latin American Brahmins, too sloppy and rough spoken to be technocrats, their women are way too hot and underdressed to be wives/girlfriends of grad students or minor functionaries, lots of bling-bling, but nowhere as tacky as Colombian dopers from back in the day. And unlike real revolutionaries and drug dealers they don't seem to be looking over their shoulders constantly.
Meet The Boliburgesia!

Venezuela's economic boom and leftist politics are opening the way for a new class of rich: the Bolivarian bourgeoisie
CARACAS - They drive shiny new Hummers and Audis. They wear Cartier and carry Montblanc bags. They buy up luxury apartments and fly private aircraft to and from Miami. And they almost always pay in cash.
They are the so-called Boliburguesía -- short for Bolivarian bourgeoisie -- a reference to socialist President Hugo Chávez's declared ''Bolivarian'' revolution on behalf of Venezuela's poor.

Si la gasolina sube otra vez

[They are].concentrated in the oil, finance, construction and government service industries, and that their riches likely come from their ties to a state overflowing with money as the world's fifth-largest oil exporter.

Included are businessmen "agile enough" to catch the "gravy train", "traditionally wealthy families" who are "profiting from their pragmatic association with the government" and military officers whom Chavez placed "in top positions in his civilian government agencies." The military types are the ones with the shorter hair FYI.

Y la democracia no puede crecer Si la corrupción juega ajedrez

But the boom has been accompanied by allegations of massive corruption, as it was in the 1970s.

The former bank official Guerra alleged last year that $4 billion had gone missing from the PDVSA coffers. And the National Assembly last year opened an investigation into a deal in which Ruperti was paid twice for a PDVSA gasoline shipment to the United States. The investigation continues.

The Boliburgesia Is Really Inclusive!!!

Wow, Audi dealers and opposition leaders alike were done right by Chavez. That is some In a case that was exposed by El Nuevo Herald, contracts for sales of state oil were assigned to brokers, who then received multi-million dollar commissions on the sales - payable in foreign accounts held in places like Miami. As this graph shows, the funds flow from Venezuela to Miami, on the surface they would not fall afoul of anti-laundering laws or capital flight restrictions in Venezuela - but as the article hints they violate PDVSA restrictions. The individuals recieving these funds, include Chavista opposition leaders, hints strongly as a form of payoff.