Archive for the ‘Lateinamerika’ Category

Kolumbien eröffnet Ermittlung wegen Mord an Schweizer Missionarin neu

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Nur kurz: Wie El Tiempo soeben berichtet, wird die Ermittlung wegen Mordes an einer Schweizerin und zwei kolumbianischen Bauern neu eröffnet. Könnte ein weiterer Schritt im Friedensprozess in Kolumbien darstellen. Seit über 40 Jahren wütet in Kolumbien ein lokaler Bürgerkrieg zwischen dem Staat, paramilitärischen Gruppen und kommunistischen Guerillas. Die meisten Opfer dieses Konfliktes sind Zivilisten – wie in diesem Fall.

Hier das Original in Spanisch (mehr dazu später):

En el hecho murieron una misionera suiza y dos campesinos. Justicia Militar había cerrado proceso.

En uno de los más fuertes pronunciamientos sobre la ineficiencia y parcialidad de la Justicia Penal Militar, la Corte Suprema de Justicia tumbó la absolución que hace 23 años favoreció a un teniente, un suboficial y doce soldados que en 1990 asesinaron a la religiosa suiza Hildegard María Feldman y a dos habitantes de un caserío en selvas de Nariño.

El caso, considerado como uno de los primeros ‘falsos positivos’ y que le valió al país duros cuestionamientos en la Comisión Interamericana de Justicia, fue presentado por las autoridades militares de la zona, y luego refrendado por la justicia militar, como resultado del fuego cruzado en combate. La Corte, casi un cuarto de siglo después, decidió que esas muertes “de ninguna manera pueden considerarse actos propios del servicio o consecuencia de éste, en lo que corresponde a la Fuerza Pública”, y ordenó que el caso lo reasuma la Fiscalía General.

Según probó la Corte, en efecto había presencia de las Farc en el caserío El Sande, municipio de Guachavés. Pero nunca hubo combate, y menos uno promovido desde la casa donde murió la religiosa.

“El operativo también se dirigió contra los civiles, a quienes señalaron de ser guerrilleros y amenazaron de muerte; los obligaron a reunirse –tendidos en el piso– en una cancha para que soportaran sin protección una fuerte lluvia, para luego recluirlos en la capilla en donde debieron pasar la noche, incluso los niños, las mujeres y los ancianos, sin abrigo ni alimentos. Algunos fueron obligados a trasladar los cadáveres y sepultarlos”, dijo la Corte.

Los guerrilleros estaban en el río y fueron sorprendidos por la tropa, que abatió a un centinela. “En esas condiciones ningún objeto tenía disparar contra los civiles en varias direcciones, puesto que era absolutamente previsible el resultado lesivo que se produjo”, dijeron los magistrados.

Aunque los guerrilleros huyeron y dejaron abandonadas sus armas junto al río, la Justicia Penal Militar no cuestionó la versión dada por el teniente que comandaba la patrulla de un intenso enfrentamiento. A uno de los campesinos asesinados, reconocido líder comunitario, los militares le acomodaron un fusil y aseguraron que era guerrillero, según se probó en el expediente.

“De entrada debió advertir la Justicia Penal Militar que los hechos no correspondían a actos propios del servicio o que fuesen consecuencia de éstos y de esa forma facultaran la intervención de esa jurisdicción, pues, debe destacarse que resulta por demás irracional considerar que es deber de los miembros de la fuerza pública o que deriva de las funciones asignadas a los cuerpos armados, ejecutar sin formula de juicio a las personas”, cuestionó la Corte.

También aseguró que no se entiende como el Comando de la Tercera División en Cali, que actuó como segunda instancia, no advirtió las enormes fallas de la investigación del juez militar.

“De ninguna manera se esclareció por qué si los guerrilleros estaban concentrados en la casa de Ramón Rojas y en el río, los militares dispararon el múltiples direcciones, incluso a blancos ubicados a mucha distancia de esa morada y del arroyo; o por qué si se trataba de un combate los subversivos dejaron abandonadas sus pertenencias y especialmente las armas de fuego y las municiones que se suponía estaban utilizando en la refriega; tampoco se aclaró por qué fue manipulada la escena, al extremo de que los oficiales obligaron a los civiles a inhumar los cadáveres, impidiendo verificar en qué circunstancias fallecieron las personas reportadas, especialmente José Ramón Rojas, Hildegard María Feldman y Hernando García; y no se investigó el sometimiento de los civiles a tratos degradantes, crueles e inhumanos por parte de la fuerza pública, aspectos que tampoco fueron controvertidos por los sujetos procesales”, dice la Corte.

Y agrega: “Escasa fue la labor del Tribunal Superior Militar, al conocer en grado jurisdiccional de consulta, porque limitó su exposición a reiterar lo dicho por la primera instancia, sin preocuparse por los aspectos relevantes, constituidos por las muertes de los civiles, atendiendo únicamente la versión de los uniformados, a la que, sin reservas, le otorgó absoluta credibilidad sin valorar los testimonios de los habitantes de El Sande, que fueron también testigos directos de los hechos”.

Los magistrados dicen que “la Justicia Penal Militar no adelantó una investigación seria e imparcial, se cesó el procedimiento de forma apresurada a favor de todos los implicados, buscando dejar impunes los hechos”.

La decisión señala que “José Ramón Rojas Erazo, Hildegard María Feldman y Hernando García Zambrano no agredieron a los integrantes del Ejército Nacional que ingresaron al caserío de El Sande (…) sino que fallecieron como consecuencia de la arremetida que sin requerimiento previo emprendieron en su contra los uniformados, ejecutándolos en la más absoluta indefensión, incluso cuando uno de ellos apenas trataba de ocultarse entre unas rocas. Ello sin contar con que los militares saquearon el centro de salud del pequeño poblado”.

REDACCIÓN JUSTICIA

COLOMBIA REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY TO ALLEGED VENEZUELAN INCURSIONS

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

ID     10BOGOTA121
SUBJECT     COLOMBIA REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY TO ALLEGED VENEZUELAN
DATE     2010-02-01 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION     SECRET//NOFORN
ORIGIN     Embassy Bogota
TEXT     S E C R E T BOGOTA 000121

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/01
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, KJUS, ETRD, OAS, CO, VE
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY TO ALLEGED VENEZUELAN INCURSIONS

REF: BOGOTA 3011

CLASSIFIED BY: Wililam R. Brownfield, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

SUMMARY

——-

1. (C/NF) Minister of Defense Silva told the Ambassador that an alleged January 27 Venezuelan overflight of Colombian airspace was a deliberate provocation and that he expected more such incidents. According to the GOC, a Venezuelan military helicopter crossed into the Colombian department of Arauca, overflew a Colombian Army base, and remained in Colombian airspace for about 20 minutes on January 27. In remarks to the press from Davos, Foreign Minister Bermudez demanded explanations from the GBRV and said the GOC would file a formal complaint with the OAS and then the UN if the GBRV did not provide an adequate reply. President Uribe publicly continued to urge a cautious and prudent response. Venezuelan officials denied the charge, but agreed to investigate. Separately, the GOC captured and deported a Venezuelan National Guard sergeant who crossed into Vichada department and fired his rifle. The repeated GBRV incursions increase the political pressure on the Colombian government to strengthen its air and border defenses. End Summary.

GOC REPORTS VENEZUELAN MILITARY CROSSINGS, GBRV DENIES AND DOWNPLAYS

————————————

2. (U) The GOC alleged that a Venezuelan military helicopter entered the Colombian department of Arauca on the morning of January 27th and flew over the city of Arauca – including the headquarters of the Colombian Army’s 18th Brigade – before returning to Venezuelan airspace near the city of El Amparo (Apure state). Minister of Defense (MOD) Gabriel Silva said he was “absolutely certain” the incursion had taken place and claimed the GOC had proof of the flight from both the Armed Forces and Colombian citizens. (NOTE: Several Colombian media outlets ran interviews with Arauca residents discussing the flight. A long distance photo appeared in the press. End Note.)

3. (SBU) Separately, Sergeant Juan Vicente Gomez Martinez of the Venezuelan National Guard crossed into Puerto Carreno (Vichada) on January 28 and fired his rifle. No injuries were reported. Colombian media reported that Colombian Marines captured Gomez and turned him over to local prosecutors, who found no basis to prosecute him and deported him to Venezuelan authorities.

4. (SBU) The GOC sent the GBRV a strongly worded diplomatic note on January 28th advising that the GOC was “deeply worried” by the flight’s “flagrant violation of national sovereignty,” and that the GOC demanded an explanation. The letter also stressed that the Colombian military had acted prudently and responsibly by not reacting to the alleged incursion. GOC Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez also said the GOC would demand an explanation for the Gomez incident.

5. (U) GBRV Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro categorically denied any overflight had taken place (calling it a “Colombian false positive”), while Vice Minister of Defense Daniel Machado said the GBRV would investigate but suggested Colombian authorities had mistaken Venezuelan airspace for Colombian. Machado denied knowing  any details of the Gomez incident, but said such small incidents were bound to occur along borders like that of Colombia and Venezuela.

GOC REACTS PRUDENTLY BUT FIRMLY

———————

6. (U) Speaking from the World Economic Forum in SWITZERLAND, President Uribe told reporters that he was sure the overflight had been an accident, and he urged his administration to react with total prudence. Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez followed Uribe’s lead, stressing that the GOC was awaiting the official GBRV response, was committed to acting through diplomatic channels, and would lodge a formal complaint with the OAS and then the UN, if the GBRV reply failed to satisfy Colombian concerns.

7. (S/NF) MOD Silva was more forceful in his public reaction, saying he believed the flight was no accident. Silva was much more candid in a January 28 meeting with the Ambassador, saying that he saw the incursions as part of a pattern of increasing Venezuelan provocations. Silva added that he believed the GBRV helicopter pilot had been on a suicide mission and that he anticipates the next provocation will be a maritime border incursion by GBRV forces, probably in disputed waters of the Gulf of Venezuela. He confirmed that Colombian forces had standing orders not to fire unless fired upon.

8. (U) Congressman Santiago Castro, Vice President of the House, called the alleged overflight a provocative act of military aggression, and he demanded the GOC invest up to $3 billion USD in anti-air defenses to protect Colombia from similar Venezuelan threats. Castro contended that Colombia should have the ability to react more strongly in the future, arguing that a calm reaction to the next Venezuelan violation of Colombian airspace would signal weakness, not prudence. Castro added that Colombia should not enter into an arms race with Venezuela, but opined that the defense budget should be changed this year to make anti-air defenses a priority. He added that Congress would hold a classified session to discuss such security measures.

BROWNFIELD

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ADDED     2011-09-04 03:36:12
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http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10BOGOTA121.html

Fall Sperisen: Keine Auslieferung des Schweizers, Beweismittel aus Guatemala sind in Genf

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Doppelbürger Erwin Sperisen war von 2004 bis 2007 Polizeichef Guatemalas. Danach flüchtete er in die Schweiz. Guatemaltekische Behörden werfen ihm illegale Erschiessungen vor. Jetzt besitzt die Genfer Staatsanwaltschaft die belastenden Akten. von Christian Bütikofer

Der ehemalige Polizeichef Guatemalas Erwin Sperisen (41) soll in schwerste Verbrechen verwickelt gewesen sein. Von 2004 bis 2007 unterstanden dem guatemaltekisch-schweizerischen Doppelbürger während der Amtszeit der konservativen Regierung Oscar Bergers 19’000 Beamte der Bundespolizei Policía Nacional Civil (PNC).

Während dieser Zeit erlebte das mittelamerikanische Land eine Welle beispielloser Gewalt. Sperisens Ära als Polizeichef war überschattet von diversen Skandalen und dem ständigen Verdacht, in seinem Verband operierten Todesschwadronen.

Nachdem mehrere Politiker aus dem Nachbarland El Salvador während einem offiziellen Besuch von Maskierten mit Polizeimunition ermordet wurden, nahm Erwin Sperisen kurze Zeit später den Hut. Er setzte sich im April 2007 in die Schweiz nach Genf ab.

2010 erliess die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Guatemalas in Zusammenarbeit mit der UNO-Kommission gegen die Straflosigkeit (CICIG) einen internationalen Haftbefehl gegen diverse Protagonisten jener Regierung. Auch Sperisen befand sich auf der Fahndungsliste. Einer der Vorwürfe an ihn: Beteiligung an aussergerichtlichen Hinrichtungen in mindestens zwei Fällen.

Fall 1: Im Oktober 2005 türmten 19 Schwerverbrecher aus dem Gefängnis «Infiernito» am Rande der Hauptstadt Guatemala City. Statt die Häftlinge zu verhaften und zurückzuführen, sollen die eingesetzten Polizisten gleich den Auftrag gefasst haben, die Verbrecher zu exekutieren. Drei von ihnen wurden denn auch umgebracht.

Fall 2: Am 25. September 2006 stürmten 3000 Sicherheitskräfte (Polizisten, Soldaten) das Gefängnis «El Pavón» (um die 1000 Insassen), das ebenfalls in der Nähe der Hauptstadt Guatemala City liegt. Mit dieser Operation wollten die Behörden die Kontrolle über die Strafanstalt zurückgewinnen, denn seit geraumer Zeit herrschten die Häftlinge autonom übers Gefängnis.

Statt die Ordnung mit legalen Mitteln wiederherzustellen, wurden sieben Insassen aussortiert und erschossen, danach vertuschten die Täter verräterische Spuren. So versuchten sie etwa, ein Gefecht vorzutäuschen. Diese Aktion wurde in einem 60-seitigen Dokument von der CICIG akribisch festgehalten und liegt az vor.

Strafanzeige wurde in Genf verschlampt

Bereits am 20. Juli 2007 hatten diverse Nichtregierungsorganisationen in Solothurn Strafanzeige gegen Sperisen wegen vorsätzlicher Tötung und schwerer Körperverletzung eingereicht. Solothurn wurde gewählt, weil er in jenem Kanton das Bürgerrecht besitzt. Die Anzeige liegt az vor.

Die Solothurner Behörden wussten bald, dass Sperisen in Genf sitzt, und gaben das Dossier 2008 an den Genfer Oberstaatsanwalt Daniel Zappelli ab. Doch der schubladisierte den Fall, beauftragte lange nicht einmal einen Untersuchungsrichter, um den massiven Anschuldigungen nachzugehen.

Erst als die internationalen Haftbefehle gegen die ehemaligen Regierungsmitglieder im September 2010 weltweit publik wurden, versprachen die Genfer Behörden plötzlich, die Sache rasch an die Hand zu nehmen.

Im April 2011 deponierte der zuständige Staatsanwalt Michel-Alexandre Graber dann in Guatemala ein Rechtshilfegesuch. Es betrifft unter anderem die zwei Vorfälle in den Gefängnissen, wie auch die ungeklärten Umstände der Morde an den salvadorianischen Politikern.

Beweismaterial aus Guatemala eingetroffen

Inzwischen sollte Graber die Dokumente erhalten haben, wie die guatemaltekische Zeitung «El Periódico» berichtet. Gemäss der Zeitung hat die guatemaltekische Staatsanwaltschaft den Fall auch an die Schweiz abgetreten, ein Auslieferungsbegehren wäre zwecklos. Denn zwischen der Schweiz und Guatemala besteht kein derartiges Abkommen und gemäss Artikel 25 der Bundesverfassung liefert die Schweiz grundsätzlich keine Staatsbürger aus – davon profitiert Doppelbürger Sperisen.

Für zwei andere ehemalige Mitstreiter Sperisens, die sich ebenfalls ins Ausland absetzten, sieht es weniger gut aus: In Österreich und Spanien sind zwei Auslieferungsbegehren aus Guatemala hängig.

Laut Sperisens Anwalt Florian Baier nimmt der Ex-Polizeichef zur laufenden Untersuchung keine Stellung. Früher bestritt er sämtliche Anschuldigungen und behauptete, die Vorwürfe seien Teil einer politischen Kampagne.

© az Aargauer Zeitung, 29.07.2011

PERU 2007 INVESTMENT CLIMATE STATEMENT (PART 1/2)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011
ID
07LIMA221
SUBJECT
PERU 2007 INVESTMENT CLIMATE STATEMENT (PART 1/2)
DATE
2007-01-26 18:36:00
CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED
ORIGIN
Embassy Lima
TEXT
UNCLAS LIMA 000221 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EB/IFD/OIA, WHA/AND, WHA/EPSC
PASS EXIM, OPIC, TDA
COMMERCE FOR 4331/MAC/WH/MCAMERON
USTR FOR BHARMAN AND MCARRILLO
GENEVA FOR USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV EFIN ETRD KTDB ELAB PGOV OPIC USTR PE
SUBJECT: PERU 2007 INVESTMENT CLIMATE STATEMENT (PART 1/2)

REF: 06 STATE 178303

The following is Part 1 of Embassy Lima’s submission of the 2007 Investment Climate Statement for Peru.

Openness to Foreign Investment
——————————

The Peruvian government seeks to attract investment — bothforeign and domestic — in nearly all sectors of theeconomy. The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA),pending approval by the U.S. Congress, would enable Peru toattract additional investment by clarifying rules forinvestors, increasing transparency, reducing barriers totrade, establishing faster customs procedures, andimproving the dispute settlement process. Peru does nothave a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) or tax treaty withthe United States, but these provisions are contained inthe PTPA. The U.S. Congress extended unilateral tradepreferences under the Andean Trade Preferences Act(modified by the Andean Trade Preferences and DrugEradication Act, or ATPDEA) to Peru, Colombia, Bolivia andEcuador through June 2007. The U.S. Government recognizedPeru’s progress in economic policy and other issues byselecting Peru for the Millennium Challenge Account’sThreshold Program for fiscal year 2007.

During the early 1990s, the Peruvian government promotedeconomic stabilization and liberalization policies bylowering trade barriers, lifting restrictions on capitalflows and opening the economy to foreign investors. Peruexperienced marked growth in foreign investment from 1993-1998. Economic reform and privatization slowed in the late1990s however, leading to a discernible drop in direct andindirect foreign investment flows. Investment remainedstagnant following the collapse of President AlbertoFujimori’s government in November 2000, and through theperiod of an interim government and the election ofPresident Alejandro Toledo in 2001.

During his tenure, President Toledo implemented severalpro-investment policies. In April 2002, the governmentestablished ProInversion, building on the foundation ofCOPRI, the privatization agency created in 1991.ProInversion seeks to be a “one-stop shop” for current andpotential investors, and has successfully completed bothconcessions and privatizations of state-owned enterprisesand natural resources. In 2004, Las Bambas, a copperdeposit, was concessioned to Xstrata TLC, a SWISS company,for USD 121 million plus 19 percent VAT. In 2005, Bayovar,a state-owned phosphate rock deposit, was concessioned to aBrazilian company for a 3 percent royalty, and ProInversiongranted British-owned Rio Tinto a concession for the LaGranja copper deposit for USD 22 million. Additionally,from January-November 2006, the oil and gas leasing agencyPetroperu granted 15 exploration concessions to foreign oilcompanies, including 8 to 5 U.S. companies, along thenorthern coast and in the jungle.

In addition to the 1993 Constitution (enacted January 1,1994), major laws concerning foreign direct investment inPeru include the Foreign Investment Promotion Law(Legislative Decree (DL) 662 of September 1991) and theFramework Law for Private Investment Growth (DL 757 ofNovember 1991). The two 1991 laws were implemented bySupreme Decree 162-92-EF (October 1992). Two otherimportant laws are the Private Investment in State-OwnedEnterprises Promotion Law (DL 674) and the PrivateInvestment in Public Services Infrastructure Promotion Law(DL 758).

The 1993 Constitution guarantees national treatment forforeign investors and permits foreign investment in almostall economic sectors. Prior approval is only required inthe banking (for regulatory reasons, also applies todomestic investment) and defense-related sectors. Foreigninvestors are advised to register with ProInversion toobtain the guarantee that they will be able to repatriatecapital, profits and royalties. Foreigners are legallyforbidden from owning a majority interest in radio andtelevision stations in Peru; nevertheless, foreigners havein practice owned controlling interests in such companies.Under the Constitution, foreign interests cannot “acquireor possess under any title, mines, lands, forests, waters,or fuel or energy sources” within 50 kilometers of Peru’sinternational borders. However, foreigners can obtainconcessions and rights within the restricted areas with theauthorization of a supreme resolution approved by theCabinet and the Joint Command of the Armed Forces. Allinvestors — domestic and foreign — need prior approvalbefore investing in weapons manufacturing industries.

In 1991, the Peruvian government began an extensiveprivatization program, encouraging foreign investors toparticipate. From 1991 through September 2005,privatization revenues totaled USD 9.4 billion, of whichforeign investors were responsible for the vast majority.Over three-quarters of these transactions took place from1994 to 1997. Through September 2005, privatization andconcessions proceeds totaled USD 35.1 million, andgenerated investment commitments of USD 1.3 billion. Thegovernment has made only limited progress on privatizationssince then, and prospects for future direct privatizationsare not encouraging. The government has consequentlyshifted to a strategy of promoting multi-year concessionsas a means of attracting investment into major projects.In 2000, the Lima airport was concessioned to a privategroup (Lima Airport Partners), and in August 2006, nine ofPeru’s northern airports were concessioned for 25 years toSWISSport. Peru’s other airports, as well as variouselectricity, water, sewage, and oil (Petroperu) companiesremain state-owned and operated. In June 2006, theContainer Terminal-South Pier of the important seaport ofCallao was concessioned for 30 years to a consortium of Pand O Dover (U.K.) and Uniport (Spain).

In June 2004, the Congress passed a law to exclude thestate-owned oil company Petroperu from privatization andauthorized Petroperu to conduct exploration and productionactivities. This modified the government’s policy sincethe early 1990s, when it sold all of Petroperu’sexploration and production units and a major oil refinery.Under this new law, the government still has an option ofgranting concessions on remaining Petroperu assets,including one pipeline and several refineries. In July2006, Congress defeated an executive veto of a bill to”strengthen and modernize” Petroperu. Under the new law,Petroperu can resume exploration, production and relatedactivities, including petrochemicals; is freed fromcontracting approval by CONSUCODE, the state procurementsupervision agency; is exempted from the approval of itsinvestment projects by the Government Projects Office(SNIP); and will have a worker on its board of directors.Petroperu has a strategic alliance with Brazil’s Petrobras.

Under the 1993 Constitution, foreign investors have thesame rights as national investors to benefit from anyinvestment incentives, such as tax exemptions.

Conversion and Transfer Policies
——————————–

Under Article 64 of the 1993 Constitution, the Peruviangovernment guarantees the freedom to hold and dispose offoreign currency; hence, there are no foreign exchangecontrols in Peru. All restrictions on remittances ofprofits, dividends, royalties, and capital have beeneliminated, although foreign investors are advised toregister their investments with ProInversion (as notedabove) to ensure these guarantees. Exporters and importersare not required to channel foreign exchange transactionsthrough the Central Reserve Bank of Peru, and can conducttransactions freely on the open market. Anyone may openand maintain foreign currency accounts in Peruviancommercial banks. U.S. firms have reported no problems ordelays in transferring funds or remitting capital,earnings, loan repayments or lease payments since Peru’seconomic reforms of the early 1990s.

The 1993 Constitution guarantees free convertibility ofcurrency. There is, however, a legal limit on the amountthat private pension fund managers can invest in foreignsecurities. In May 2004, the Central Reserve Bank of Peru(BCR) increased this limit from 9 percent to 10.5 percent.The low limit has created local market distortions,trapping liquidity in Peru that is diverted into localequities and bonds, driving up their prices to artificiallyhigh levels. The BCR’s new board, appointed by the GarciaAdministration, intends to gradually raise this limit, beginning with an increase to 12 percent.

The BCR is an independent institution, free to managemonetary policy to maintain financial stability. The BCR’sprimary goal is to maintain price stability, via inflationtargeting. Inflation in Peru was 1.6 percent in 2005 and 2percent in 2006. The government has also implemented policies to de-dollarize the economy, and deposits in thelocal currency (nuevo sol) now account for about 36percent.

Expropriation and Compensation
——————————

According to the Constitution, the Peruvian government canonly expropriate private property on public interestgrounds (such as for public works projects) or for nationalsecurity. Any expropriation requires the Congress to passa specific act. The Government of Peru has expressed itsintention to comply with international standards concerningexpropriations.

Dispute Settlement
——————

Dispute settlement continues to be problematic in Peru,although the GOP took steps in 2005 to improve the disputesettlement process. From December 2004 through 2006, the GOP established 24 commercial courts to rule on investmentdisputes, including two courts of appeal. All of thesecourts are located in Lima. The commercial courts havesubstantially improved the process for commercial disputes.Prior to the existence of the commercial courts, it took anaverage of two years to resolve a commercial case throughthe civil court system. These new courts, which havespecialized judges, have reduced the amount of time toresolve a case to two months. Additionally, theenforcement of court decisions has been reduced from 36months to 3-6 months. While about 40 percent of decisionsare appealed, most of these are resolved at the appealslevel; very few are appealed to the Supreme Court.

The criminal and civil courts f first instance and appealare located in the provinces and in Lima. The SupremeCourt is located in Lima. In principle, secured interestsin property, both chattel and real, are recognized.However, the judicial system is often extremely slow tohear cases and to issue decisions. In addition, courtrulings and the degree of enforcement have been difficultto predict. The capabilities of individual judges varysubstantially, and allegations of corruption and outsideinterference in the judicial system are common. ThePeruvian appeals process also tends to delay finaldecisions. As a result, foreign investors, among others,have found that contracts are often difficult to enforce inPeru. The exposure in 2000 of a network of corrupt judgescontrolled by Fujimori advisor Vladimiro Montesinos led topromises by subsequent governments to address corruptionand reform the judiciary, but progress has been slow.

Under the 1997 Law of Conciliation (DL 26872), which wentinto effect on January 1, 2000, disputants in many types ofcivil and commercial matters are required to considerconciliation before a judge can accept a dispute to belitigated. Private parties often stipulate arbitration toresolve business disputes, as a way to avoid involvement injudicial processes.
Peru’s commercial and bankruptcy laws have proven difficultto enforce through the courts. There is an administrativebankruptcy procedure under INDECOPI (the National Institutefor the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection ofIntellectual Property), but it has proven to be slow andsubject to judicial intervention. The creditor hierarchyis similar to that established under U.S. bankruptcy law,and monetary judgments are usually made in the currencystipulated in the contract.

International arbitration of disputes between foreigninvestors and the government or state-controlled firms isincluded in the 1993 Constitution. Although Perutheoretically accepts binding arbitration, on a fewoccasions over the past three years, parastatal companiesand Government Ministries disregarded unfavorablejudgments. Previously, the Government of Peru turned thesearbitration cases over to the judiciary, where they werebureaucratically delayed until the companies conceded thecases. However, effective July 2005, the Supreme Courtruled that all arbitration findings and awards are finaland not subject to appeal.

Peru is a party to the Convention on the Recognition andEnforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New YorkConvention of 1958), and to the International Center forthe Settlement of Investment Disputes (the WashingtonConvention of 1965). Disputes between foreign investorsand the Government of Peru regarding pre-existing contractsmust still be submitted to national courts. However,investors who conclude a juridical stability agreement foradditional investments may submit disputes with thegovernment to national or international arbitration ifstipulated in the agreement. In 2005, the governmentresolved a high-level dispute by upholding the decision ofan arbitration panel and making payment.

Several private organizations — including the UniversidadCatolica, the Lima Chamber of Commerce and the AmericanChamber of Commerce — operate private arbitration centers.The quality of these centers varies, however, and investorsshould choose a venue for arbitration carefully.The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, currently pendingapproval by the U.S. Congress, includes a chapter ondispute settlement and, upon implementation, should furtherclarify the resolution process in Peru.

Performance Requirements and Incentives
—————————————

Peru offers both foreign and national investors legal andtax stability agreements to stimulate private investment.These agreements guarantee that the statutes on incometaxes, remittances, export promotion regimes (such asdrawback), administrative procedures, and labor hiringregimes in effect at the time of the investment contractwill remain unchanged for that investment for 10 years. Toqualify, an investment must exceed USD 10 million in themining and hydrocarbons sectors or USD 5 million in othersectors within two years. An agreement to acquire morethan 50 percent of a company’s shares in the privatizationprocess may also qualify an investor for a juridicalstability agreement, provided that the infusion will expandthe installed capacity of the company or enhance itstechnological development.
There are no performance requirements that applyexclusively to foreign investors. Legal stabilityagreements are subject to Peruvian civil law, which meansthey cannot be altered unilaterally by the government.Investors are also offered protection from liability foracquiring state-owned enterprises.

Laws specific to the petroleum and mining sectors alsoprovide assurances to investors. However, in 2000, thegovernment modified the General Mining Law, substantiallyreducing benefits to investors in that sector. Among thechanges were: a reduction in the term concessionaires aregranted to achieve the minimum annual production; anincrease in fees for holding non-productive concessions; anincrease in fines for not achieving minimum productionwithin the allotted time; a reduction in the maximumallowable annual accelerated depreciation; and revocationof the income tax exemption for reinvested profits. In2004, Congress approved a bill charging a 1 to 3 percentroyalty on mining companies’ sales. The changes do notaffect those investors who have signed legal stabilityagreements with the government.
In December 2006, after increased social demands for ashare of mining profits, the Garcia Administration andmining companies agreed to a “voluntary contribution”system whereby mining companies will invest in communityinfrastructure projects. This agreement averted adoptionof a more restrictive mining law, allows mining companiesto control where they invest their contributions, andceases to apply if the prices of mined products drop.
Parties may freely negotiate contractual conditions relatedto licensing arrangements and other aspects of technologytransfer without prior authorization. Registry of atechnology transfer agreement is required for a payment ofroyalties to be counted against taxes. Such registrationis automatic upon submission to ProInversion.

Current laws limit foreign employees to no more than 20percent of the total number of employees in a local company(whether owned by foreign or national interests), andrestricts their combined salaries to no more than 30percent of the total company payroll. However, DL 689(November 1991) provides a variety of exceptions to theselimits. For example, a foreigner is not counted against acompany’s total if he or she holds an immigrant visa, has acertain amount invested in the company (currently about USD4,000) or is a national of a country that has a reciprocallabor or dual nationality agreement with Peru. Foreignbanks and service companies, and internationaltransportation companies are also exempt from these hiringlimits, as are all firms located in free trade zones.Furthermore, companies may apply for exemption from thelimitations for managerial or technical personnel.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
——————————————–

Foreign and domestic entities are generally permitted theright to establish and own business enterprises and toengage in most forms of remunerative activity. Subject tothe restrictions listed earlier in this document, bothforeign and domestic entities may invest in any legaleconomic activity — including foreign direct investment,portfolio investment, and investment in real property.Private entities may generally freely establish, acquire,and dispose of interests in business enterprises. In thecase of some privatized companies deemed important by thegovernment, privatization agency ProInversion has includeda so-called “golden share” clause in the sales contract,which allows the government to veto a potential futurepurchaser of the privatized assets.

Protection of Property Rights
—————————–

As noted in the Dispute Settlement section, in principle,secured interests in property (both chattel and real) arerecognized. However, the Peruvian judicial system is oftenvery slow to hear cases and to issue decisions, outcomeshave been difficult to predict and enforce, and corruptionis frequently alleged. The Peruvian appeals process alsodelays final outcomes of cases. Thus, foreign investors,among others, have found that contracts are often difficultto enforce in Peru. Improving the judicial system is astated priority of the Peruvian Government.
Protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Peruhas improved over the past decade, but still falls short ofU.S. and international standards in several areas. Peruremains on USTR’s Special 301 “Watch List” due to concernsabout continued high rates of copyright piracy, a lack ofprotection for confidential test data submitted for themarketing approval of pharmaceutical and agrochemicalproducts, and inadequate enforcement of IPR laws,particularly with respect to the relatively weak penaltiesthat have been imposed on IPR violators.

The Peruvian government agency charged with promoting anddefending intellectual property rights is the Institute forthe Defense of Competition and Protection of IntellectualProperty (INDECOPI, www.indecopi.gob.pe), established in¶1992. Legislative Decree 822 of 1996 and Andean CommunityDecisions 344 and 486 protect patents, trademarks, andindustrial designs. Copyrights are protected byLegislative Decree No. 822 of 1996 and by Andean Community Decision 351.

Peru belongs to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and theWorld Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It isalso a signatory to the Paris Convention on IndustrialProperty, Geneva Convention for the Protection of SoundRecordings, Bern Convention for the Protection of Literaryand Artistic Works, Brussels Convention on the Distributionof Satellite Signals, Phonograms Convention, SatellitesConvention, Universal Copyright Convention, the WorldCopyright Treaty, and the World Performances andPhonographs Treaty and the Film Register Treaty. InDecember 1994, the Peruvian Congress ratified the WorldTrade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects ofIntellectual Property (TRIPs).
Peru’s legal framework provides for easy registration oftrademarks, and inventors have been able to patent theirinventions since 1994. Peru’s 1996 Industrial PropertyRights Law provides an effective term of protection forpatents and prohibits devices that decode encryptedsatellite signals, along with other improvements. Peruvianlaw does not provide pipeline protection for patents orprotection from parallel imports. Although Peruvian lawprovides for effective trademark protection, counterfeitingof trademarks, copyrighted products, and imports of piratedmerchandise are widespread. The International IntellectualProperty Alliance estimates that the piracy level in Perufor recorded music was 98 percent in 2004-2005, with damageto U.S. industry estimated at USD 100 million. IIPAestimates motion picture piracy accounts for 60 percent ofthe market for a loss of USD 5.5 million. Indecopiconsiders that software piracy levels remained the same as2004 levels, at 56 percent.

Peru’s Copyright Law is generally consistent with the TRIPsAgreement. However, textbooks, books on technicalsubjects, audiocassettes, motion picture videos andsoftware are widely pirated. While the government, incoordination with the private sector, has conductednumerous raids over the last few years on large-scaledistributors and users of pirated goods, and has increasedother types of enforcement, piracy continues to be asignificant problem for legitimate owners of copyrights inPeru.

Despite increased enforcement actions by INDECOPI, thejudicial branch has failed to impose sentences thatadequately deter future IPR violations. The Peruviangovernment in July 2004 increased the minimum penalty forpiracy to four years imprisonment, although there have yetto be any convictions under the new law. Peru now has sixprosecutors (two fiscalias) dedicated full-time tointellectual property cases. In a major breakthrough, inNovember 2006, four special courts of first instance andone special appeals court in Lima were assigned IPR duties,effective 2007.

An IPR Toolkit for Peru can be found on the Embassy andCommercial Service Lima’s websites. Besides being a guideto registering and protecting IP, it contains a list oflawyers and other organizations that can provide support onan on-going basis.

POWERS

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JAMAICA: A TRAFIGURA SCANDAL PRIMER

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
ID
06KINGSTON2021
SUBJECT
JAMAICA: A TRAFIGURA SCANDAL PRIMER
DATE
2006-10-12 12:30:00
CLASSIFICATION
CONFIDENTIAL
ORIGIN
Embassy Kingston
TEXT
C O N F I D E N T I A L KINGSTON 002021 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAR (BUDDEN, NICHOLS)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/11/2016
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV PGOV PINR PREL SOCI KCOR JM
XL, XK
SUBJECT: JAMAICA: A TRAFIGURA SCANDAL PRIMER

REF: A. KINGSTON 1592
¶B. KINGSTON 1903
¶C. KINGSTON 402
¶D. KINGSTON 1342

Classified By: Ambassador Brenda L. Johnson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

——–
Summary
——–

¶1. (SBU) The six-month old administration of People’s National Party (PNP) Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller faces embarrassing and intense scrutiny over its acceptance of JMD 31 million (approximately USD 475,000) from a Dutch-based oil trading firm. The firm, Trafigura Beheer BV, holds the contract to lift, market, and trade oil that Jamaica receives from Nigeria under a concessionary financing arrangement. The powerful Minister for Information and Development, Colin Campbell, already has resigned, and opposition leader Bruce Golding has called for the entire government to follow suit and allow general elections to be held as soon as possible. Simpson Miller has admitted meeting recently with Trafigura executives in New York, but claims to have known nothing of any transfer of funds. If the Prime Minister herself becomes more deeply implicated, there could in fact be a dissolution of Parliament and snap elections; if not, the scandal seems more likely to push back the timetable for elections until later next year – ironically, something the Opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) admits privately it can ill afford. End summary.

———- Background ———-

¶2. (SBU) The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has had concessionary oil deals with Nigeria since the 1970s. The quotas have varied as the agreements are renegotiated, but have always been in the range of 20-30,000 bpd. The GOJ claimed, however, that the PetroJam refinery in Kingston (ref. A) cannot process the type of crude that is sourced from Nigeria. Over the ensuing years, the GOJ has contracted with various oil traders to lift, market, and trade the oil. In October, 2000, the GOJ signed an agreement a Dutch oil trading company named Trafigura Beheer BV (headquartered in SWITZERLAND) for this purpose.

¶3. (SBU) The proceeds from the sale of the Nigerian oil were intended to be used to purchase finished petroleum products that would be received to and distributed from the PetroJam refinery. Therefore, the profits were routed to the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). In April, 2005, however, Finance Minister Omar Davies directed that the funds be deposited directly into the National Treasury, under the GOJ’s “Consolidated Fund.” It is unclear how this money was then spent.

————————
The JLP on the offensive
————————

¶4. (SBU) On October 4, Opposition Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) leader Bruce Golding announced in Parliament that his party had uncovered “shady dealings” between the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and Trafigura Beheer BV. Golding alleged that Trafigura had paid the PNP JMD 31 million (approximately USD 475,000) through accounts belonging to Minister of Information and Development ) and PNP General Secretary – Colin Campbell. These monies, he continued, were used to fund the lavish PNP National Convention (ref. B) held September 21-24.

¶5. (SBU) Golding called for the resignation of prominent PNP officials, and for immediate elections. Private sector organizations also have criticized the PNP’s acceptance of the money. On October 5, PNP Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works (and PNP Party Chairman) Robert Pickersgill stated that the money was a campaign “donation,” and as such there was no impropriety (Note: It was Pickersgill, in his capacity as Minister of Mining and Energy, who renegotiated the deal in 1999-2000. End note). On October 6, however, Trafigura stated that it was not a campaign contribution at all, and that the company’s dealings in Jamaica are “strictly commercial.”

¶6. (C) The campaign by Golding has been partially successful thus far. On October 9, Colin Campbell resigned his positions as Minister of Information and Development and as General Secretary of the Party, although he retains his Senate seat, to the irritation of some (Senators are appointed, and thus some feel that he should resign from that position, as well). Other prominent JLP targets are the Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce (MITEC), Phillip Paulwell, Attorney General A.J. Nicholson, and Minister Pickersgill.

——————–
A Political Mistake?
——————–

¶7. (C) As post will report septel, PolEconCouns, PolOff and EconOff met with JLP MP James Robertson on October 10. Robertson indicated that he thought the JLP leadership had made a mistake in bringing the issue into the public domain too soon. He argued that the revelations have only served to ensure that the ruling PNP will not call elections this year, as many (particularly the JLP) had hoped. He opined that the JLP’s party machinery “does not have a sixth gear,” and worried that they would sputter due to lack of funds if the PNP waited that long.

———————–
Who Leaked and Why Now?
———————–

¶8. (SBU) At issue is also the question of how the Opposition came to uncover the scandal. Rumor and speculation abound, but it is clear that the official of First Caribbean Bank, Sonia Christie, who discovered the unusual money transfers is the wife of JLP Deputy Mayor of Falmouth, Fitz Christie. While JLP contacts maintain that, by virtue of her position at the bank, she was duty-bound to report the suspicious transfers of amounts over USD 10,000, PNP supporters clearly see this as a partisan attack and a crime against privacy laws, for which Christie should be prosecuted. First Caribbean has put Christie on leave while it investigates the matter.

¶9. (C) Others, reflecting the Jamaican penchant for conspiracy theories, perceive the hand of Minister of National Security Peter Phillips at work. Phillips was defeated in a close and sometimes rancorous internal party election for the leadership by Simpson Miller (ref. D), and it is an open secret that the two are not working well together, despite public appearances suggesting PNP internal unity. There have been rumors that Phillips and his supporters in the PNP are willing to “throw” this election in order to oust Simpson Miller, and the current scandal only abets this claim.

——-
Comment
——-

¶10. (C) If Simpson Miller can weather this storm without too many more disastrous leaks, she will likely wait some time before calling general elections, as Robertson predicts. However, the possibility cannot be ruled out that she herself will become deeply implicated, perhaps thus forcing her resignation. In such a scenario, her likely successor, Phillips, also would prefer to wait to call elections, but the clamor of public opinion might well be too great to ignore.

JOHNSON

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100 Millionen ergaunert und in Genf versteckt, jetzt von Interpol gesucht

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Bei der Bank Merrill Lynch in Genf versteckte ein US-Grossbetrüger 15 Millionen Dollar. Die Gelder sind zurück, er aber wird international gesucht. Mit gefälschten Antivirus-Programmen haute seine Bande eine Million Computer-Benutzer übers Ohr. von Christian Bütikofer

Die Medienmitteilung des Bundesamtes für Justiz (BJ) vom 1. Juni tönt unspektakulär: «Gestützt auf ein US-Rechtshilfeersuchen […] wurde die Herausgabe von rund 15 Mio. US-Dollar angeordnet. Die Vermögenswerte […] werden den Geschädigten einer gross angelegten Betrügerei mit gefälschter Software zurückerstattet.»

Was amtlich nüchtern daherkommt, ist Teil einer internationalen Betrugsgeschichte, die 2002 ihren Lauf nahm und in der neben Softwarepiraterie auch die millionenfache Täuschung von Internet-Benutzern durch falsche Antivirus- und Sicherheitssoftware von zentraler Bedeutung war. Dies zeigen über tausend Seiten Untersuchungsakten, die az vorliegen.

Hauptfiguren sind der Amerikaner Shaileshkumar Jain (41), genannt Sam Jain, der Schwede Björn Daniel Sundin (32) und der kanadische Jurist Marc Gerard D’Souza. Die ersten zwei stehen auf der Fahndungsliste von Interpol.

Gefälschte Software «Made in China»

Jain sorgte bereits in der ersten Internet-Blase in den 90ern für Furore. Danach wollte er selbständig durchstarten und liess dazu die Firma Inventive Marketing, Inc. im mittelamerikanischen Staat Belize gründen. Mit aggressivem Marketing im Web lockte er Kunden auf Webseiten, die gefälschte Antiviren-Software von Symantec anbot, die er in China besorgte. Nicht lange und der Software-Gigant reichte gegen Jain Klage ein.

Bereits 1991 wegen Betrugs verurteilt

Probleme mit der Justiz waren sich Jain und Sundin gewöhnt. Bereits 1991 wurde Jain in Kalifornien wegen Betrugs rechtskräftig verurteilt. Sundin musste sich 2000 in Arzizona wegen Erregung öffentlichen Ärgernisses vor dem Richter verantworten.

Während Jain die Symantec-Klage am Hals hatte, seilte er sich in die brasilianische Stadt Rio de Janeiro ab. Von dort koordinierte er mit seinen Kumpanen den nächsten Coup: Anstatt gefälschte Antiviren-Software zu verkaufen, programmierten sie die Programme gleich selber.

Gefälschte Windows-Meldungen

Ihre Produkte, die sie mit Namen wie «Winfixer» tauften, hatten im Unterschied zur Konkurrenz aber einen kleinen Unterschied: Sie erkannten auf den Computer der Getäuschten keine Viren, es handelte sich allesamt um Falschmeldungen.

Richtig ausgeklügelt war die Methode, wie die Internet-Nutzer überhaupt aufs nutzlose Produkt aufmerksam gemacht wurden: Mit Gefahren-Meldungen die als so genannte Pop-Ups (sich beim Surfen auf eine Website selbstständig öffnende Browserfenster) wurde den Benutzern vorgetäuscht, ihre Computer seien mit Viren infiziert. Um das Problem zu beheben, müssten sie nur eine spezielle Software wie «Winfixer» kaufen und installieren.

Angst einjagen und abkassieren: Mit vorgeblicher Sicherheits-Software wird weltweit viel Geld ergaunert

Angst einjagen und abkassieren: Mit vorgeblicher Sicherheits… (PDF)

Spam und Computer-Einbrüche

Neben dieser Methode wandten die Betrüger auch Massen-E-Mail-Versand (Spam) an. Daneben platzierten sie durch illegale Hackermethoden so genannte Ad-Ware auf den Rechnern von Privatpersonen. Das hatte zur Folge, dass auf den so infizierten Rechnern plötzlich ein Werbefenster mit den bekannten falschen Viren-Alarmen auftauchte.

Solche Methoden werden von Computer-Sicherheits-Experten als «Scareware» (Angstmacher-Ware) genannt. Praktisch jeder seriöse Antiviren-Hersteller listet solch falsche Anti-Virus-Tools als Schädlinge in seiner Datenbank und entfernt sie bei einem Viren-Check.

Kreditkartendaten offen im Web

Der deutsche Antiviren-Experten Dirk Kollberg von McAfee konnte die Aktivitäten der Bande dank einer Sicherheitslücke während längerer Zeit detailliert mitprotokollieren und wurde von den Behörden später dazu in Frankfurt am Main vernommen.

Mit der Sicherheit hatte die Bande auch sonst so ihre Probleme: Während geraumer Zeit lagen tausende Kreditkartendaten ihrer Opfer offen im Internet.

Eine grosse Herausforderung für die Betrügerbande war, wie sie das Problem der Zahlung lösten. Die Software wurde von den Opfern immer per Kreditkarte bezahlt. Als die merkten, was für einen Schrott sie da gekauft hatten, wollte viele ihre Kreditkartenbuchung rückgängig machen.

Obwohl dies noch lange nicht alle taten, generierten sie damit jeweils tausende von Stornierungen, was den Betrügern bei den Zahlungsabwicklern jeweils grossen Ärger brachte. Als sie in den USA nicht mehr salonfähig waren, behalfen sie sich mit Dienstleistern in Bahrain, Dubai, Singapur und versuchten es auch in Holland.

Die FTC nimmt sich dem Fall an

Die Masche mit den gefälschten Anti-Viren-Programmen führte dazu, dass tausende Reklamationen bei der amerikanischen Federal Trade Commission (FTC) eingingen. Nicht lange, und die Beamten nahmen sich den Brüdern an. Während ihrer Ermittlung sammelten die Beamten mehr als 21’000 Seiten Beweismaterial und kommen zum Schluss, dass die Bande mit ihren Aktivitäten mindestens 100 Millionen Dollar generierte.

Die FTC-Beamten stiessen während ihren Ermittlungen auf ein unglaubliches Firmen- und Bankkonten-Netz, verteilt auf die ganze Welt (siehe Box).

Um ihre richtige Identität vor Geschäftspartnern zu verbergen, nutzten die Täter mehrere Pseudonyme und agierten durch verschiedene Firmen, die zum Teil nicht existieren.

Merrill Lynch-Banker halfen wissentlich beim Betrug

Fälschungen standen auch am Anfang der Schweizer-Spur. Um die Gelder der amerikanischen Opfer (60 Prozent der Kunden stammten aus USA/Kanada, 40 aus dem Rest der Welt) in sichere Geldhafen zu transferieren, wurde das Geld über mehrere Transfers zu Merrill Lynch nach Uruguay verschoben. Dort gründete Sam Jain dank der geklauten Unterschrift und weiteren persönlichen Daten eines seiner früheren Angestellten die Société Financiera Volturno SA sowie die Rivonal Corporation SA.

Dabei arbeiteten ihm mehrere Merrill Lynch-Banker zu, die über die gefälschten Daten bestens Bescheid wussten. Während der FTC-Ermittlungen wurden sie vom Institut gefeuert. In Uruguay nahm Jain die Hilfe von Anwalt Federico Ponce de León sowie dessen Vater Walter Ponce de León in Anspruch und ein Konto bei Merrill Lynch in Genf wurde eröffnet. Mit der Zeit sammelten sich dort zwischen 15 und 18 Millionen Dollar an.

Die guten Dienste der Schweizer Anwälte

2008 blockierte die Schweiz wegen Verdachts auf Geldwäscherei das Konto und entsprach einem Rechtshilfegesuch der USA. Doch das wollte Jain nicht einfach so auf sich sitzen lassen. Die Genfer Rechtsanwälte Saverio Lembo und Anne Valérie Julen Berthod von Bär & Karrer versuchten die Rücküberweisung der Millionen in die Vereinigten Staaten während Jahren zu verhindern. In dieser Zeit befand sich Sam Jain schon lange auf der Flucht: Als er 2009 vor einem US-Gericht hätte erscheinen sollen, liess er sich nie mehr blicken.

Die Behörden vermuten ihn in der Ukraine. Sein Kumpel Sundin hält sich gemäss den Behörden in Schweden auf. Marc Gerard D’Souza hat sich mit der FTC verglichen: Er zahlte über 8 Millionen Dollar Wiedergutmachung.

Entscheid Bundesstrafgericht: RR.2009.159

Das Firmen- und Konten-Geflecht

Firmen gründeten die Täter unter anderem in Anguilla, Panama, Belize, USA, Uruguay, Niederlande, Bahrain, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate, Philippinen, Kanada, Britische Jungferninseln, Ukraine, Argentinien, Indien, Grossbritannien, Brasilien.

Konten unterhielten die Gauner etwa bei Merrill Lynch, HSBC Bahrain, ABN Amro, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait BSC, Bahrami Saudi Bank BSC, Emirates Bank, United Overseas Bank Singapore, Citibank, DBS Bank Ltd., HSBC Jersey, UBS Schweiz (Zürich Höngg, Bankkonti 836.360.60W, 836.360.L1 G bei Berater Thomas M.), Chinatrust (Philis) Commercial Banking Corp., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., ING Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust, HSBC Kanada, Fleet Bank.

© az Aargauer Zeitung 2011; 02.06.2011

NICARAGUA: AN ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE ON EIGHT MONTHS OF ORTEGA RHETORIC

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
ID
07MANAGUA2223
SUBJECT
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: AN ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE ON
DATE
2007-09-28 23:33:00
CLASSIFICATION
CONFIDENTIAL
ORIGIN
Embassy Managua
TEXT
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 MANAGUA 002223

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR
STATE FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/EPSC, EEB/TPP, EEB/IFD
TREASURY FOR SARA GRAY
USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/MSIEGELMAN
3134/ITA/USFCS/OIO/WH/MKESHISHIAN/BARTHUR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2017
TAGS: ECON ETRD EINV NU
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: AN ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE ON EIGHT MONTHS OF ORTEGA RHETORIC

Classified By: Ambassador Paul Trivelli, Reason: E.O. 12958 1.4 (d)

¶1. (C) Summary: Eight months into Daniel Ortega’s term as president, his socialist rhetoric continues to worry potential and current investors in Nicaragua. Beginning on the day of his inauguration, Ortega launched into anti-capitalist, anti-neoliberal, and increasingly anti-American rhetoric, implying that what had transpired in Nicaragua during the past sixteen years was all wrong. A consistent economic theme has been the need for Nicaragua to reduce its dependency on the United States and international financial institutions. Ortega believes that this theme provides him with the political cover he needs to forge closer economic relations with the likes of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Libya, and North Korea. When it comes to private sector investment, Ortega seems to be of two minds. He acknowledges the fundamental role that the private sector plays in creating jobs, generating growth, and improving social well-being, but in practice never really accepts that this is true. One of Ortega’s most palatable messages is that capital investment in Nicaragua needs to incorporate some social component. End summary.

¶2. (C) Eight months into Daniel Ortega’s term as President, his socialist rhetoric continues to worry current and potential investors in Nicaragua. Ortega rarely misses an opportunity to denounce “imperialism” and “savage capitalism,” although his tone and presentation often varies with his audience. A review of Ortega’s public discourse since his inauguration on January 10, 2007, reveals a worldview adorned with disdain for what he terms “global capitalism” and its imperialist champion, the United States. Ortega borrows heavily from Marx to explain the success of capitalism, which he views as being fundamentally opposed to the welfare of poor people throughout the world. Recently, he has been focusing more on historical inequities, drawing a causal relationship between the wealth of developed countries and the poverty of underdeveloped countries.

¶3. (C) Ortega has avoided criticizing specific individuals or businesses in Nicaragua, with a few exceptions in the energy sector. He has forcefully criticized electricity distributor Union Fenosa (Spain), liquid fuels importer and distributor Glencore (SWITZERLAND), geothermal power producer Polaris (Canada), power producer Geosa (Nicaragua), and through his tax and customs directors general and other party stalwarts, refiner and liquid fuels distributor Esso (United States). Every company that Ortega has criticized publicly has become the object of state-led legal and tax challenges.

Out of the Starting Gate
————————

¶4. (C) Beginning on the day of his inauguration attended by Venezuelan and Bolivian Presidents Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, Ortega and his Communications Coordinator (wife Rosario Murillo) launched a propaganda campaign to reestablish socialist values in Nicaragua. The campaign contrasts greatly with his election campaign, also managed by Murillo, both in tone and content. Ortega’s election campaign was little more than the repeated play of a Nicaraguan version of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” as a silent candidate waived to the masses from a slowly driven vehicle. Ortega now makes great use of the bully pulpit to constantly assert that Nicaragua’s “neoliberal” experiment in “global capitalism” the last sixteen years has failed.

¶5. (C) The day after his inauguration, Ortega signed onto the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), since heralded as the centerpiece of Nicaragua’s foreign economic relations and the alternative to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). Ortega has consistently trumpeted economic relations with ALBA countries (Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia) at the expense of his relations with Central American countries and as a substitute to economic relations with the United States. His socialist fire only dimmed for his first press conference in January, to calm nervous investors. By May, his anti-capitalist, anti-neoliberal, and anti-American rhetoric picked up another head of steam. This culminated in 20-minute inflammatory speech at the United Nations on September 25 2007, in which Ortega railed against the United States as the imperial power (septel).

America Is Bad
————–

¶6. (C) An underlying theme for Ortega’s speeches has been the need for Nicaragua to reduce its political and economic dependence on the United States, developed country donors, and international financial institutions, which he believes “are controlled by the United States.” He argues that global capitalism has enslaved the world by helping the rich get richer at the expense of the poor, and exploiting natural resources and polluting the world’s environment. Further, he argues that international financial institutions are the tools of “yankee imperialism,” that neoliberalism is a modern version of imperialism, and that privatization and neoliberalism in Nicaragua have failed to lift Nicaragua out of poverty.

¶7. (C) A corollary to these arguments is that CAFTA should never have been negotiated because of inherent and insurmountable economic asymmetries between poor, small Central American countries and the United States. Ortega asserts that if such a trade agreement had to be negotiated, then Central American countries should have negotiated it as a single, unified entity to strike a more balanced deal. Because this did not happen, CAFTA surely favors the United States. Ortega further asserts that by definition small agricultural producers cannot compete with large U.S. producers who, he laments, receive state subsidies. Therefore, he concludes, CAFTA is inherently unfair.

¶8. (C) Ortega often deploys this logic as political justification for forging closer economic relations with Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Iran, Libya, and even North Korea. For more political cover, he will elaborate on the historical and lasting evil of “imperialism,” “global capitalism,” and “the empire,” all euphemisms for the United States. (Note: In his speech before the United Nations on September 25 2007, Ortega clearly tied the United States to these euphemisms). Ortega compares these evils to honest and well-meaning foreign assistance and commerce from and with ALBA countries and Iran.

¶9. (C) Ortega’s anti-American rhetoric often varies with the occasion. He never used the word “empire,” for example, to refer to the United States in his public meeting with World Bank Vice President Pamela Cox on February 1. However, during his July 21 address to the Sao Paulo Forum, a conference composed of leftist and nationalist political parties and social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, Ortega bandied the term an astounding twenty-one times. Left to his own resources, Ortega will almost always weave in a few minutes of anti-American epithets into one of his patented 100-minute speeches to loyal followers. The rhetoric flows especially freely during visits from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Capitalism Is Bad; Some Investment Might Be Good
——————————————— —

¶10. (C) Ortega seems to be of two minds when it comes to capital investment. He claims to welcome capital investment on the one hand, but on the other decries the evils of “global capitalism.” He asserts that privatization has failed in Nicaragua, that “neoliberalism” has corrupted government to serve selfish interests “of those with family names we all know,” but claims to be open to dialogue with business. He accepts the need to negotiate a new Poverty Reduction Growth Facility with the IMF, but issues a blanket condemnation of all international financial institutions as being “the mere tools of capitalism.” He acknowledges the fundamental role that capital investment plays in creating jobs, generating growth, and improving social wellbeing, but never really accepts the notion that capitalism works. He equates “global capitalism” with imperialism, vilifies the United States as chief imperialist, and equates “original capital” to original sin -) since, according to his accounting of history, “original capital” was derived from slavery and colonialism.

¶11. (C) Ortega repeatedly quotes Pope John Paul II to draw a distinction between “savage capitalism” and presumably “not-so-savage capitalism.” This gives Ortega the pretext to support some forms of capital investment, e.g., that which “serves the interests of the people,” especially the poor. Clearly, Ortega feels better about an investment if there is some form of social contribution included. He has repeatedly referred to Cone Denim’s $100 million investment in a textile manufacturing plant near Managua as an example of the kind of long-term, “non-maquila” investment that he welcomes. Cone Denim (United States) makes some social contributions. However, Cone Denim is a free trade zone investment like all other Nicaraguan “maquilas,” and will, in fact, employ fewer people than most maquilas. The difference is that Cone Denim will manufacture cloth rather than finished goods.

The A to (almost) Z of Ortega’s Rhetoric
—————————————-

¶12. (SBU) Below are unofficial translations of statements made by Ortega during his first eight months in office. They identify the range of his economic thinking, and not just the anti-American quality of his rhetoric.

a. “Every time that I speak about this issue with the same representatives from the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and representatives of the North American Government, I say to them, ‘What are the results of these policies that His Holiness the Pope John Paul II called savage capitalism?’ That is what His Holiness called it! I ask them, and I say to those who continue insisting that the neoliberal model is the only way that our people can progress, I say to them, ‘I am going to put it to the test here in Nicaragua!'” (Presidential Inauguration, January 10, 2007).

b. “This treaty with the United States, CAFTA, that was approved a few years and months ago …we said that, in all clarity, this treaty was not thought out, not considered as to the condition of a country like the United States with great and enormous resources and economic subsidies versus the economies of our countries. They had to understand this (inequity) to negotiate. Finally they signed a treaty that brings some benefits to some sectors, but not to others. We have talked with North American representatives and told them about the problem, that they have not taken into account economic asymmetry with these countries. How can a small Nicaraguan producer compete with a North American producer who is subsidized?” (Presidential Inauguration, January 10, 2007).

c. “There does not exist, in these times, a situation that signifies that economic activity in our country is paralyzed or is decreasing. To the contrary, we feel that economic activity is being maintained …the year is beginning. There have been the normal movements for the start of a year and a dialogue has continued with the national businesses through INCAE (the Central American Institute for Business Administration). Vice President Jaime Morales is in charge of working with them, that already is the commitment…. It was a grave error to have negotiated CAFTA in bilateral form; it put us in a weak situation.” (Press Conference, January 22, 2007)

d. “This is a new government. We have a conception, a philosophy that is very different from the governments that preceded us. We are interested in developing, establishing, consolidating good relationships with (international) organizations, with the (World) Bank as well as with the
(International Monetary) Fund.” (Meeting with World Bank Vice President Pamela Cox, February 1, 2007).

e. “We are meeting many businessmen, many investors, capitalists who are ready, and in addition to their (financial) investments, to make social investments. But there are others in the minority, in the case of Nicaragua, who bring an entirely selfish attitude, who want to accumulate more riches each day and to whom it does not matter if the people are in poverty, in misery.” Sixteen years of neoliberalism has passed in Nicaragua. And what do we have? We have economic growth. Of course, we have economic growth, but with whom does this wealth reside? Where does wealth stop?” Celebration of the 29th Anniversary of the Sandinista Insurrection in Monimbo February 24, 2007)

f. “What is the root of the problem (speaking of power outages throughout the country)? It is in the deed of having privatized. This was the original sin. Who privatized? The democrats, those who say they are democrats. They privatized the power plants, giving concessions (to the electricity distributor). Thank God they did not sell it, because all this involves corruption, selling (the power plants) for pennies — but what they did was to rent it.” (Celebration of the 29th Anniversary of the Sandinista Insurrection in Monimbo February 24, 2007)

g. “We will have a world filled with justice, where all families live in dignity, where hearts are filled with the feeling of love, and where we will have buried forever feelings of hatred, of selfishness, of individualism, of ‘savage capitalism’ that His Holiness Pope John Paul II called by name ) ‘savage capitalism’…. We are not fighting with the Yankees. They are the ones who have been fighting with the world. This is the history of the imperialists.” (Ortega with Hugo Chavez in Leon, March 11, 2007)

h. “We are against polluting the environment, a result that must be viewed in the (context of) policies of consumption, imposed by the capitalist model and that will not stop for anything.” (Ortega with members of his Cabinet, April 3, 2007)

i. “At the height of neoliberalism, with all the support that is possible in terms of policies and capitalist material wellbeing, capitalist countries, with all the support that the Government of the United States had offered to previous governments…. How much would it mean for the United States to donate (a power plant) to Nicaragua? They did not donate it … It is neoliberal political nature to forget about the people, about the poor, and simply do things every day to become richer.” (Inauguration of the Venezuelan Hugo Chavez Power Plant at Las Brisas, Managua, April 17, 2007)

j. “During these sixteen years in which neoliberalism was imposed on Nicaragua, what was considered the most important was to maintain structural reforms — the privatizations, privatizing education, health — all at a cost of greater poverty for the Nicaraguan people.” (Meeting with a Russian Delegation, April 25, 2007)

k. “Never as today, has the world been so divided between the minority that possess wealth and the immense majority (living) in poverty. This has occurred at both the national and international level. Here in Nicaragua, where the scheme of world capitalist domination is replicated by the ‘land imperialists,’ as our General Sandino called them, a few with wealth and the majority in poverty…. Who is the imperialist bourgeois? The one who is of ‘savage capitalism,’ the imperialist who tries to break, to conquer our people.” (Labor Day, May 1, 2007)

l. “We have to liberate ourselves from this dependency on external resources because of all the problems they bring, the conditions that they put on us.” (Cabinet Meeting on the National Infrastructure Plan, May 3, 2007)

m. “Neoliberalism not only has meant denying education, health, and work to the people, denying financing to the farmers, but also it has meant the destruction of the environment, of the forests…. This is where it is clear that what the world is questioning is the model. There has to be questioning, from all sides, of the model that savage capitalism has imposed on the world and which is leading to the destruction of the environment.” Cabinet meeting on the National Environment Plan, May 8, 2007)

n. “The greatest acts of violence, of barbarism, have been committed by rich, developed countries. Violent crimes of all kinds — not for hunger, not for poverty, not for unemployment. Simply put, what has provoked this kind of situation has been the deformity, the destruction of the human spirit by savage capitalism.” (Appointment of Cardenal Obando y Bravo as Chair of the Reconciliation Commission, May 9, 2007)

o. “In our attempt to generate quick employment, we can be killing ourselves. This is the great problem: as we say, bread for today, hunger for tomorrow. We cannot run that risk… We want investment with a sense of respect, to the workers and to the environment — an investment that is accompanied with social sense.” (Institute of Social Security Presentation, May 22, 2007)

p. “Our country, throughout its history, has suffered wars imposed by the politics of imperial North America…. This is what permits us to break with unipolar politics to establish a new equilibrium in the world, where we transform in a profound way the current world order, as much in the areas of economics and commerce between counties as in the area of law. What we will really achieve is to democratize relations between people, between nations, by putting an end to the dictatorship of the global capitalism of the empire. And then we can ensure a world of peace, of justice, of liberty…. And in the dialogue that we hold with the United States, we have been clear to demonstrate our position against imperialist policies, against the dictatorship of global capitalism….” (Greeting Iranian President Ahmadinejad, June 10, 2007)

q. “This is the greatest battle that escapes human history — the concept that development policy has been in the hands of global capitalism which sets the norms, imposes its economic policy through blood and fire, and for which certain periods and eras a conquered Africa, Asia, and American continent submitted to colonization, responding to a development model that was determined in the European metropolis, simply trying to grow, but in these moments, the world population, technological development, and pollution that was generated in the form of epic exploitation, was brutal. It turned into an economic policy that practiced systematic genocide in order to steal natural resources.” (Closing Remarks to the Natural Resources and Environment Conference of Central American Ministers, June 18, 2007)

r. “These gentlemen that today are the owners of the world economy, who impose upon us schemes such as neoliberalism, who wish to obligate us to accept the conditions of the International Monetary Fund, they accumulated their wealth in the most abject manner, the most brutal, shameful manner that human history could have ever known.” (Celebration of the 71st Anniversary of the Birth of Carlos Fonseca, founder of the FSLN, June 23, 2007)

s. “The recent meeting of the Group of Seven plus one, in Europe, once again provides evidence of the inflexibility of those who continue defending an exhausted model ) a developmentalist, consumerist (one) that goes against the most vital interests of humanity. And the opposition, the voice that raises concern, from countries belonging to the same exhausted global capitalist scheme, (is against) global capitalism that has imposed its rules throughout the years, that has established norms, and that talks of democracy without practicing democracy.” (Inauguration of the Regional
Conference on UN Coherence, June 25, 2007)

t. “I think that the moment has arrived that, above all the countries of global capitalism, the empire (is the one who) controls the (International Monetary) Fund. Really, the poor (workers at) the Fund are no more than an instrument, because we say here that the Fund is evil. No. What is evil is world economic order imposed by the countries of global capitalism, of the empire, which accumulate their capital at the cost of enslaving Africans for more than 300 years (and) exterminating indigenous people in Latin America. This is the origin of their capital.” (Ortega’s arrival at the airport on a state visit to Mexico, June 27, 2007)

u. “In the sixteen years that they governed quietly, the model they imposed was global capitalism, the imperialist model. What were the results? They said (that) the country achieved take-off because a few became richer. Because of this, they achieved take-off. Those that became richer took off, but the immense majority of the people did not have any take off. What they had was privatization of health care, education, the democratization of hunger, of unemployment. This is what they had. This is the reason why we have (electricity) rationing )- our inheritance from neoliberalism. To put it into simple language, the inheritance of ‘savage capitalism.’ This is our inheritance.” (Inauguration of the Zero Hunger Initiative in Estelli, July 7, 2007)

v. “This is what the Europeans did. All the Europeans who today present themselves as saviors of the world, this is what they did. The primary capital for capitalism has its origins in these forms of exploitation, of theft, of plunder, of corruption, that they established throughout the African and American continent, and also in Asia. They were accumulating this wealth which they later converted into power.” (Closing of the 15th Congress of the Nicaraguan Student Union, July 18, 2007)

w. “The situation is very simple. Those that accumulated this capital, this wealth, with the plunder, the extermination, concentration camps, more than 300 years of slavery of the African population, they are very united, and they are searching a way to keep all of us divided, in order to dominate us, to better oppress us. They practice this policy throughout the world: to divide people, nations, (and) governments. And, each time governments make an effort to become closer, listening to the will of the people, the threats come with sanctions and everything that we already know. But the world lives in a new time. True that global capitalism, headed by the yankee empire, has enormous strength…. Global capitalism threatens destruction, not of the small people because it has already destroyed them, but rather of medium and large producers….” (Celebration of the 28th Anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, July 19, 2007)

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http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/09/07MANAGUA2223.html

NICARAGUA: AMBASSADOR MEETS NEW MINISTER OF ENERGY AND MINES

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
ID
07MANAGUA788
SUBJECT
NICARAGUA: AMBASSADOR MEETS NEW MINISTER OF ENERGY
DATE
2007-03-23 21:06:00
CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN
Embassy Managua
TEXT
UNCLAS MANAGUA 000788

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/EPSC, EB/ESC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG EPET EMIN TBIO SENV EINV PINR VE NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: AMBASSADOR MEETS NEW MINISTER OF ENERGY AND MINES

REF: A. MANAGUA 0640

¶B. MANAGUA 0196
¶C. 06 MANAGUA 2384
¶D. MANAGUA 0781

¶1. (SBU) Summary. The Ambassador called on the new Minister of Energy and Mines Emilio de Jesus Rappaccioli Baltodano on February 14 to introduce himself and discuss energy issues in Nicaragua. Rappaccioli summarized recent changes to energy sector governance, including the creation of the Ministry of Energy and Mines. He told the Ambassador that his primary focus will be to increase access to electricity for the poor, especially in rural areas, and the provision of power to productive sectors of the economy. In addition, Rappaccioli wants to “rehabilitate” Petronic, so that it can play a more collaborative role with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Rappaccioli outlined his views on and Nicaraguan developments in the petroleum sector, biofuels, as well as hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind power. He welcomed the continuation of technical assistance on regulatory matters, but did not expressly commit himself. End Summary.

¶2. (SBU) The Ambassador called on new Minister of Energy and Mines Emilio de Jesus Rappaccioli Baltodano on February 14 to introduce himself and discuss energy issues in Nicaragua. Rappaccioli was joined by his Vice Minister Lorena Lanza Espinosa and Secretary General Donald Espinosa Romero. Earlier in her career, Lanza served in the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Development in the Directorate of Hydrocarbons. Most recently, Espinosa served as the Director of Hydrocarbons at the Nicaraguan Institute of Energy. Rappaccioli told the Ambassador that his primary focus will be to increase access to electricity for the poor, especially in rural areas, and the provision of power to productive sectors of the economy. Rappaccioli outlined developments in the hydropower, biofuels, and wind generation. He envisions roles for both private and public sector investment in the energy sector. He did not talk much about mining, except to note that existing mines are primarily in private hands. (Note: Canadian-based Triton owns the rights to three small gold mines in Nicaragua, output from which is exported to the United States at 90-95% purity for refining.)

A New Ministry
————–

¶3. (SBU) Minister Rappaccioli opened the meeting with a brief summary of recent changes to energy sector governance. All functions of the National Commission on Energy (CNE) have been folded into the new Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), along with many of the functions of the Nicaraguan Energy Institute (INE), including the authority to grant permission for power generation, contract for power distribution, and award exploration and production concessions to mining ventures and oil and gas companies. The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Development (MIFIC) will transfer its Directorate of Mines to MEM soon. When this occurs, MEM will bear responsibility for all policy as it relates to electricity, renewable energy, hydrocarbons, and investment in the mining and energy sectors. The power to regulate consumer prices on electricity and propane gas will remain with INE.

¶4. (SBU) Rappaccioli confirmed that Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (the state-owned national electric company, ENEL) and Petronic (the state-owned oil and gasoline distributor) will report to MEM. MEM will supervise the contract with Glencore (SWITZERLAND) for the management of Petronic, and the contract with Union Fenosa (Spanish) for the management of Nicaragua’s two power distribution companies, Disnorte and Dissur.

Making Way for Venezuela
————————

¶5. (SBU) Rappaccioli told the Ambassador that he intends to “rehabilitate” Petronic so that it can play a more collaborative role with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA, the Venezuelan National Oil Company) on the importation and distribution of Venezuelan fuel, the construction of a Venezuelan proposed refinery and transithsmus pipeline, and perhaps oil and gas exploration in Nicaragua. Currently, Petronic is little more than a holding company, contracting the use of oil storage and offloading facilities as well as Petronic’s retail gasoline stations to Glencore. Since Petronic’s contract with Glencore remains in force until June 2009, Rappaccioli is looking to create some other entity in the interim to manage fuel purchases from Venezuela and serve as a counterpart to PDVSA. Rappaccioli believes that such an interim company could forge an arrangement with Glencore for the use of Petronic facilities to receive and store oil, diesel, and gasoline from PDVSA at the Port of Corinto for distribution to power producers, public transport companies, and businesses throughout the country — and even the ESSO refinery over the medium term.

¶6. (SBU) Under the Venezuelan scheme, Rappaccioli explained that 40% of the cost of the fuel would not come due for 25 years (Ref A). If Nicaragua imports $200 million worth of oil from Venezuela in 2007, for example, then as much as $80 million would be available to spend on health, education, and rural development programs. Rappacciolli expects that Nicaragua will conclude a contract for the supply of fuel through Corinto with Venezuela by April. (Note: In 2006, Nicaragua imported $656 million worth of petroleum products, $209 million from Venezuela and $191 million from Mexico.)

Oil and Gas Exploration
———————–

¶7. (SBU) The Ambassador inquired about progress on removing the injunction on exploration concessions off the Atlantic coast awarded to U.S. firms MKJ and Infinity (Ref B). He told the Ambassador that the companies had recently visited MEM, and that the ministry is reviewing their cases. He added that MEM had requested the contracts from INE, but INE had not yet done so. Rappaccioli added that “it is in the interest of the government to resolve the situation as quickly as and in the best form possible.” Contrary to claims supporting the injunction, Rappaccioli observed that the concessions appeared to be “external,” i.e., falling outside the purview of the autonomous regions on the Atlantic. Another positive development, he said, is that Foreign Minister Santos had taken an interest in the case. (Note: In a previous decision, INE had stopped the clock on the concessions to MKJ and Infinity, so that milestones missed as a result of the injunction will not jeopardize the ability of the companies to fulfill the terms of their concessions.)

¶8. (SBU) Rappaccioli did not mention the recent find of Canadian-based Norwood Resources, which has an onshore exploration concession along the Pacific Coast. On the day of this meeting (February 14), Norwood announced that it found gas, condensate, and light oil in separate zones in its exploration well at San Bartolo Rodriguez. The discovery was made below 6000 feet in various tubidite sands. Norwood said that it plans to drill another exploratory well into a similar geological structure located 11 kilometers away.

Biofuels
——–

¶9. (SBU) Rappaccioli said that he thought that Nicaragua could increase ethanol and biodiesel production either for export or domestic use, estimating the potential to substitute up to 30% of Nicaragua’s gasoline requirement in the near term. (Note: Nicaragua may be able to almost double the land under sugar cane production over the next five years, to 100,000 hectares (Ref C).) With more sugar cane production, Rappaccioli observed, power generated from bagasse would also grow. He noted that the Atlantic coast had started to produce biodiesel from African palm for export to nearby Costa Rica, and that there is the potential to produce much more.

¶10. (SBU) The Ambassador offered to bring a U.S. expert to Nicaragua to discuss the prospect for expanding biofuel production in Nicaragua. Rappaccioli tacitly approved of the idea, suggesting that Grupo Pellas also make a presentation on its ethanol production. Rappaccioli added that Pellas’ first shipment of ethanol recently sailed to Europe, and that the next shipment will go to the United States.

¶11. (SBU) Rappaccioli told the Ambassador that President Ortega would soon send a biofuels bill to the National Assembly. (Note: Since this statement, Ortega has joined President Chavez of Venezuela in publicly criticizing ethanol production and U.S. policy on biofuels, stressing food security and the need to keep food and fuel markets separate. In March, Ortega cancelled a trip to Brazil where he was supposed to sign a bilateral cooperative agreement to promote ethanol production. (Ref D))

Hydropower
———-

¶12. (SBU) Rappaccioli believes that Nicaragua has great potential to develop hydropower and hinted that a pipeline of feasibility studies is in the works. Rappaccioli said that ENEL is looking at constructing several small hydroelectric dams. (Note: ENEL has sought assistance from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency for a feasibility study for a 15 MW hydroelectric dam at El Barro). For some time, a group of investors comprising COPALAR has floated a proposal to construct a large hydroelectric dam on the Rio Grande of Matagalpa, which could generate as much as 900 MW and cost more than $1 billion to build. Legislation facilitating the project is pending before the National Assembly. Rappaccioli told the Ambassador that a decision on COPALAR would be made by the end of the year, adding that Mexican billionaire investor Carlos Slim had shown interest in the project during his recent visit to Nicaragua. (Note: Rappaccioli lists COPALAR as one of his consulting clients on his curriculum vitae between 1997 and 2006.)

¶13. (U) Note: Nicaragua currently sources 80% of its electricity from power plants that import oil for fuel. Installed capacity is roughly 650 MW, which meets current demand, but leaves no room for error and is inadequate in the context of projected rising demand. In fact, the lack of new investment in power generation presents a serious obstacle to investors, often raising the cost of a project. ITG Cone Denim’s $100 million denim plant under construction in Ciudad Sandino, for example, includes a $20 million power plant as part of its investment so that the assured supply of power is not an issue. End Note.

Geothermal Power
—————-

¶14. (SBU) Rappaccioli wants Nicaragua to further develop its potential to generate power from geothermal sources. He mentioned the Israeli (Ormat) Italian (ENEL), and Salvadorean investment in a geothermal plant at Momotombo which generates about 20 MW. He also mentioned the Canadian, U.S., and German investment at San Jacinto, now named Polaris, lamenting the fact that San Jacinto is only generating about 7.5 MW although it had the potential to produce 66 MW. As the President of INE eleven years ago, Rappaccioli said that he had signed the contract to develop San Jacinto and not much had happened since. He told the Ambassador that the government was reviewing Polaris’ concession. (Note: Shortly after this meeting, the Attorney General’s office announced its opinion that Polaris’ poor performance constituted sufficient grounds for the government to void its concession. Polaris has been fighting back, pointing out negotiated changes to its concession and work program with INE, and the company’s declaration of force majeure in 2004 as a result of the worldwide shortage of drilling equipment.)

Wind Power
———-

¶15. (SBU) Rappaccioli welcomed the recently launched wind generation project in the Department of Rivas, terming it a very positive development. The $80 million Amayo wind farm involves the erection of 19 wind propelled turbines manufactured in India by a Danish firm and installed by a Spanish firm. The previous day, Vice Minister Lanza attended the signing ceremony for Amayo’s power purchase agreement to supply up to 40MW to Union Fenosa. The project is the brainchild of U.S., Guatemalan, and Nicaraguan investors.

¶16. (SBU) Rappaccioli told the Ambassador that another wind farm similar to Amayo is under development for the Department of Chontales. The plan is to produce up to 20 MW for ENACAL, the state-owned water company. ENACAL will manage the pluses and minuses with Union Fenosa, and thus channel excess power to the grid.

¶17. (SBU) Rappaccioli described the prospects for generating wind power in Rivas and Chontales as excellent, especially during the dry season. Nevertheless, the nature of the enterprise is that sometimes power will not be available. Whatever power these two wind farms generate, he observed, they will be cost competitive, constitute a domestic energy source, and reduce the requirement for oil imports.

Technical Assistance: Energy Regulation
—————————————

¶18. (SBU) The Ambassador explained that before the change in government on January 10, USAID brought two energy experts to Nicaragua to consult with energy sector stakeholders and the government on Nicaragua’s energy regulatory regime, especially as it pertained to power generation and tariffs. Rappaccioli replied that he would welcome the continuation of such technical assistance, but did not expressly commit himself. (Note: A USAID consultant visited during the week of March 19 to explore the possibility of advancing technical assistance in this area.)

Biography: Emilio de Jesus Rappaccioli Baltodano
——————————————— —

¶19. (SBU) Emilio de Jesus Rappaccioli Baltodano returns to government after a hiatus of ten years. From 1979 to 1990, he headed the Nicaraguan Energy Institute under the Sandinista regime. During this time, Rappaccioli earned the nickname “Don Rapagon” (Sir Outage, with a play on the “R” in his last name), for his many power rationing schemes. Rappaccioli continued at the Nicaraguan Energy Institute during the administration of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. From 1995 to 1997, he served as President of the state owned Nicaraguan Electric Company (Empresa Nicaraguense de Electricidad, ENEL). For the past 10 years, he worked as an international consultant. During this period, he served as President of the FSLN’s National Commission on Judicial and Ethical Affairs.

¶20. (SBU) Rappacciolli received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central America in Managua and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. In the early 1970’s, he taught engineering at the University of Central America and National University of Nicaragua. He remains an active member of the American Association of Civil Engineers, the Nicaraguan College of Engineers, and the Association of Engineers and Architects. He is 65 years old (DOB: 5/5/41), married, and has children.

TRIVELLI

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http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/03/07MANAGUA788.html

ADDITIONAL SWISS INPUT REGARDING CALL FOR FREEZING NON-HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO NICARAGUA FOLLOWING FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
ID
09BERN57
SUBJECT
ADDITIONAL SWISS INPUT REGARDING CALL FOR FREEZING
DATE
2009-02-06 15:39:00
CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN
Embassy Bern
TEXT
UNCLAS BERN 000057 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHAT/CEN (A.KRAAIMOORE) AND EUR/CE (Y.SAINT-ANDRE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PREL NU SZ
SUBJECT: ADDITIONAL SWISS INPUT REGARDING CALL FOR FREEZING NON-HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO NICARAGUA FOLLOWING FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS

REF: A. A. SECSTATE 132044
¶B. B. BERN 00655

¶1. (SBU) Further to reftel A request for Switzerland to freeze non-humanitarian assistance to Nicaragua following its fraudulent municipal elections of November 9, and reftel B interim response, Nora Kronig, Regional Coordinator for Central and South America at the SWISS Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), called Poloff on 28 January 2009 to provide the following input from her SWISS contacts concerned with this issue. Kronig said that EDA took note of the USG position and was interested to know where the U.S. stood in this regard. The GOS is, according to Kronig, aware of the risks associated with the Nicaraguan situation and is following the developments with great attention. Further, SWISS interlocutors are discussing the municipal elections and their consequences within the Donors Group of Nicaragua.

¶2. (SBU) Kronig added that Switzerland has expressed concern with the elections by way of a press communique and has also done so bilaterally with the GON. Given the exclusion of two political parties in this election, Switzerland has addressed its concern at the Minister of Foreign Affairs level between the GOS and GON.

¶3. (SBU) The Budget Support Group, which Kronig explained gives financial assistance to the Nicaraguan government to implement programs, differs from the development/humanitarian aid provided by Switzerland through the SWISS Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Kronig stated that the Budget Support Group met in mid-January to assess the situation and discuss the continuation of providing assistance to Nicaragua, adding that the group decided that Nicaragua’s actions will “bear consequences,” and a suspension of budget support will not be excluded as a possibility. The GOS has, at this time, decided that programs and projects that have been supported by Switzerland for a long time will be maintained, but under increased vigilance.

¶4. (SBU) Kronig closed by explaining that Switzerland has always acted as a constructive partner and an honest broker in its relations with Nicaragua, and that the GOS will continue to opt for open and constructive dialogue. That said, she noted that Switzerland will voice critical views and encourage democracy, non-violence, human rights, and the rule of law, and will seek constructive solutions where problems arise.

CARTER

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http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/02/09BERN57.html

NICARAGUA: ORTEGA PRESSURES EXXONMOBIL TO BUY VENEZUELAN OIL

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
ID
07MANAGUA2539
SUBJECT
NICARAGUA: ORTEGA PRESSURES EXXONMOBIL TO BUY
DATE
2007-12-07 21:18:00
CLASSIFICATION
CONFIDENTIAL
ORIGIN
Embassy Managua
TEXT
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 002539 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EEB/ESC, EEB/BTA, WHA/EPSC, WHA/CEN/TLERSTEN
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USTR AND OPIC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2017
TAGS: EPET ENRG EINV ETRD NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: ORTEGA PRESSURES EXXONMOBIL TO BUY VENEZUELAN OIL

REF: A. MANAGUA 2116
¶B. MANAGUA 2055
¶C. MANAGUA 2016
¶D. MANAGUA 1952

Classified By: Classified By: CDA Richard M. Sanders, Reason: E.O. 1295
8 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) President Ortega announced on December 5 that he had instructed the Ministry of Energy and Mines and others “to quickly work out a proposal to nationalize the importation of oil.” Ortega wants Nicaragua to import all oil from Venezuela to take advantage of Hugo Chavez’ offer to contribute half of the resulting revenues to the Bolivarian Alternative (ALBA) Development Bank and Fund. As operators of the country’s only refinery, ExxonMobil supplies more than 70% of the country’s liquid fuel needs, including fuel oil used to generate electricity. ExxonMobil further imports the majority of refined product (gasoline and diesel) to supplement refinery supply. ExxonMobil is willing to discuss a supply contract to import Venezuelan crude oil, but wants to sign the fuel storage and sales agreement first, as was agreed in a memorandum of understanding in September. Talks on crude oil imports are supposed to be in parallel with discussions on a laundry list of tax charges lodged against ExxonMobil by the Ortega administration. Recently, Ortega has publicly referred to “transnationals that import oil” as members of a “mafia,” and castigated ExxonMobil for behaving like “true mercenaries (and) speculators” while “bleeding the Nicaraguan people.” On December 6, Foreign Minister Samuel Santos called CDA Sanders to a meeting with Minister of Energy Emilio Rappaccioli and Petronic President Francisco Lopez, who gave their version of events.

Ortega Appoints Study Commission
——————————–

¶2. (SBU) President Ortega announced at the closing session of the fourth National Security and Defense course for the Ministry of Defense and the Military on December 5 that he had instructed the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), Nicaraguan Institute of Energy (INE), National Electricity Company (ENEL), and Albanisa (a joint enterprise between Petronic and the Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA) “to quickly work out a proposal to nationalize the importation of oil.” Ortega wants Nicaragua to import all oil from Venezuela to take full advantage of Hugo Chavez’ offer to contribute half of all resulting revenues to the Bolivarian Alternative (ALBA) Development Bank and Fund.

ExxonMobil and Glencore Primary Importers
—————————————–

¶3. (C) Currently, ExxonMobil (U.S.) and Glencore (SWISS) import almost all oil consumed in Nicaragua. As operators of the country’s only refinery, ExxonMobil supplies more than 70% of the country’s liquid fuel needs, including fuel oil used to generate electricity. ExxonMobil further imports the majority of refined product (gasoline and diesel). Glencore imports the rest under a contract with Petronic, the national oil company, that expires in 2009.

Ortega Administration Pressure
——————————

¶4. (C) Both ExxonMobil and Glencore have been subject to intense pressure by the Ortega administration to import Venezuelan oil. In April 2007, the Ortega administration challenged the legitimacy of Glencore’s 10-year contract. This resulted in Glencore importing essentially all of its refined product from Venezuela, i.e., about 4000 barrels per day. The Ortega administration then launched a host of questionable tax claims agaiNtDkuIQ\Mobil agreed to negotiate the use and eventual sale of the fuel storage facility that was seized. In each instance, once Glencore and ExxonMobil accommodated the Ortega administration, their near term legal challenges disappeared.

¶5. (C) More is at stake with ExxonMobil than with Glencore  and the road has been bumpier. ExxonMobil tells us that it has negotiated an agreement for the use and sale of the Corinto fuel storage facility, but that the Ortega administration is refusing to sign. Instead, the administration is demanding to negotiate the sale of Venezuelan crude oil to ExxonMobil’s refinery. ExxonMobil wants to sign the fuel storage and sales agreement first, according to the order of events set forth in September’s memorandum of understanding. ExxonMobil also wants to make progress on the laundry list of tax charges that the Ortega Administration has initiated. (Refs A, B)

¶6. (C) In November 2007, FSLN stalwart and Economic Advisor to the President Bayardo Arce replaced Francisco Lopez (Petronic President and former FSLN Treasurer) as point person for negotiations with ExxonMobil. Arce appears to be charged with getting ExxonMobil to agree to buy Venezuelan crude, and is not above using heavy-handed pressure tactics. This may explain why in recent weeks Ortega has publicly referred to “transnationals that import oil” as members of a “mafia,” and castigated ExxonMobil for behaving like “true mercenaries (and) speculators” while “bleeding the Nicaraguan people.” Ortega also charged ExxonMobil with being “uncooperative” and “totally negative” to the idea of “contributing to the Nicaraguan people.” “All this would change,” said Ortega at the December 5th event noted above, “if this transnational would change its attitude, as it had during period 1979-90….” ExxonMobil is scheduled to meet with Bayardo Arce on December 7.

¶7. (C) In the meantime, ExxonMobil has informed us that, in fact, it is amenable to negotiating the importation of crude oil from Venezuela. In the past two months (business confidential information), ExxonMobil has come to terms internally with the idea that Venezuelan ships could be used for transport, provided supply contracts stipulate prompt delivery, late charges, some supply flexibility, and vessels used meet ExxonMobil’s environmental and safety standards (i.e., double hulled tankers). This is because the company would rather not pay demurrage to Venezuelan ports while waiting for an unreliable PDVSA to load product.

CDA Meets with Key Administration Players
—————————————–

¶8. (C) On December 6, CDA was convoked to the Foreign Ministry to meet with Foreign Minister Samuel Santos, who was accompanied by Energy Minister Emilio Rappaccioli and Petronic President Francisco Lopez. Santos led off by saying that the meeting was being held at the instruction of President Ortega, and that he, Santos, wanted to make sure the USG — and especially the Secretary and WHA A/S Shannon — for whom he had high regard, had a “concrete” understanding of the GON’s situation with regard to ExxonMobil’s operations in Nicaragua. He noted the enormous problem which high energy prices present for Nicaragua and asserted that the GON had made “enormous efforts” to reach an agreement with ExxonMobil.

¶9. (C) Santos soon handed the meeting over to Rappaccioli, who briefly recounted his version of the events of the summer-fall of 2006 in which ExxonMobil’s unused storage facility had been seized and used to store a shipment of Venezuelan gasoline which entered Nicaragua. The crisis provoked by this act had been resolved with the signature of a joint memorandum that returned the plant to ExxonMobil, but which contemplated the import of Venezuelan crude into ExxonMobil’s refinery in Nicaragua, “parallel” to the negotiation of arrangements for the rental or eventual sale of the gasoline storage facility. The GON had since been trying to reach a commercial agreement setting forth terms which would actually the Venezuelan crude oil to enter Nicaragua, without success. The inability of the GON and ExxonMobil to reach an agreement was highly prejudicial to Nicaragua, which was unable to take full advantage of the favorable terms which Venezuela offered for its crude through “Albanisa” a joint Venezuelan-Nicaraguan oil-importation entity.

¶10. (C) Petronic President Lopez further elaborated, saying that Venezuela offered Nicaragua up to 27,000 barrels per day, but until now Nicaragua has only been able to import 4,000 barrels a day (in the form of refined products) brought in for Petronic by Glencore. As a result, Nicaragua had lost $230 million in savings from unused Venezuelan concessional funding. Lopez noted the great expense the GON is facing in subsidizing mass transit, and the crisis that the electrical power sector is facing. Lopez said that ExxonMobil had been offered extremely attractive terms on price, volumes, and payment schedules, and would be allowed to use its own ships (vice those of Venezuela state oil enterprise PDVSA). In the current circumstances, getting Venezuelan crude oil into Nicaragua was a matter of “national security.”

¶11. (C) Lopez suggested that the U.S. embassy consider taking part in future negotiations to assure a successful conclusion. Santos finished off the GON’s presentation by handing CDA a copy of a memo, dated December 4, from Lopez to the head of the Nicaraguan Energy Institute (the GON’s energy regulatory authority) entitled “Documentary Recapitulation of Efforts at Agreements with Esso.” Santos also said that as a “personal, not official” opinion, he wondered if ExxonMobihQY4klQ which was far better than taking impressions from the press. Their views would be transmitted to Washington immediately. That said, however, he added that public remarks by President Ortega calling for “nationalization” inevitably provoked concern in Washington. He assured Santos that the USG had no hidden agenda and would be happy to see the GON and ExxonMobil reach agreement. While he could not offer any analysis of why the two parties have not yet reached an agreement; he understood that ExxonMobil was also looking for resolution of the GON’s claims of large amounts of back taxes due from the company which were presented at the time of the earlier seizure of the gasoline storage facility. (Rappaccioli responded that he had heard that the Mayor of Managua had stated that claims for local taxes had been resolved; however, GON economic advisor Bayardo Arce had said that Exxonmobil had not presented needed invoices for taxes due to the central government for review). As to the idea of embassy intervention in the negotiations, CDA noted that at stake were complex commercial matters that seemed best left to the parties directly involved.

Comment
——-

¶13. (C) Comment: Santos seemed most interested in doing damage control following Ortega’s use of the term “nationalization,” which dominated local headlines the day before. Rappaccioli and Lopez’ spin-filled versions of the current state of play seemed aimed at getting the USG to pressure Exxonmobil to bring in the Venezuelan crude oil as soon as possible, under GON terms. ¶14. (C) The actions of the Ortega administration over the past 12 months provide compelling evidence of a lack of understanding of the oil sector, if not political incompetence. Readers may remember that during the 2006 elections, the FSLN created Albanica (now defunct and not to be confused with Albanisa) to import oil under a scheme with Venezuela that would allow FSLN mayors to derive profits. When a shipment of diesel finally arrived, Albanica scrambled to find tanker trucks to transport product to Managua, and then to distribute the product )- ostensibly to transport cooperatives and unions. After Ortega assumed power, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that PDVSA would build a $2.5 billion refinery in Nicaragua. Several months later, Chavez laid a cornerstone at a chosen site, only to leave the project to a feasibility study that had not been initiated. Between July and November, the Ortega administration forced Glencore to provide storage and to distribute shipments of Venezuelan product. When Glencore ran short of storage capacity in August, the Ortega administration charged ExxonMobil with failure to pay taxes. An administrative oversight was used as the pretext for seizing the storage capacity from ExxonMobil in time to offload a Venezuelan vessel. When members of the National Assembly and the IMF demanded transparency and on-budget accounting of Venezuelan funds derived from oil sales, the Ortega administration created Albanisa, a “private entity”
composed of stated-owned enterprises PDVSA (Venezuela) and Petronic (Nicaragua), to manage Venezuela oil sales off-budget.

¶15. (C) While Albanisa may be capable of importing Venezuelan oil through paper transactions, someone must eventually pay for it. Without the sales and distribution networks of ExxonMobil and Glencore, Albanisa cannot generate ALBA funds from Venezuelan oil. We believe that Ortega’s call to develop proposals to nationalize the importation of oil is the latest attempt to pressure ExxonMobil into monetizing Venezuelan oil. Before nationalizing the process, the Ortega administration will have to convince the National Assembly to revise legislation governing the sector. If a state-owned entity does the importing, then ALBA funds would be subject to National Assembly oversight, something that the Ortega Administration has been trying to avoid.

SANDERS

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