HAVANA TIMES — Testimony before the Brazilian courts has implicated Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, in the Odebrecht construction company scandal in Latin America, according to details published today in the Brazilian media, reported DPA news.
The publicist Monica Moura, wife of the jailed Brazilian political strategist Joao Santana, told prosecutors in her plea agreement that Maduro had directly taken part in an illegal Odebrecht funding agreement for the reelection campaign of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2012.
According to Moura, Maduro took part in a meeting where it was agreed that Santana would be paid 35 million USD to organize Chavez’ campaign, with money coming from Odebrecht.
Maduro “demanded that most of the payments relating to the reelection campaign be made with undeclared resources, with off the record payments which would be made by Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez (another Brazilian construction company),” according to Moura’s statements which were cited by the “Estado de Sao Paulo” newspaper.
The current Venezuelan leader, who was Chavez’s foreign minister, handed more than 11 million USD as part of this payment in subsequent meetings, according to the account Moura provided.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court judge in charge of the super anti-corruption campaign known as “Lava Jato” (Car Wash graft investigation) in Brazil, Edson Fachin, ordered that legal confidentiality be lifted on the statements Moura made to the Court in early March.
Santana and Moura are charged with counts of corruption for “Lava Jato”, an investigation about the enormous scandal surrounding the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras.
Within the context of this case, Odebrecht recognized that not only did it pay bribes in Brazil in order to get contracts with Petrobras, but it did so in 11 other countries, ten of which were in Latin America.
Venezuela figures after Brazil as the second country which is most involved in Odebrecht’s corruption network. The construction company admitted in December that it had paid at least 98 million USD in bribes in Venezuela between 2006 and 2015 in order to receive public tenders.
Odebrecht recognized dishing out a total of over 785 million USD in bribes in 12 countries since 2001. Dozens of executives from the construction company have admitted these facts in so-called “leniancy hearings” before the Supreme Court in exchange for benefits in their own trials.
Odebrecht’s denunciations have already affected several Latin American presidents. Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo (2001-2016) is currently a fugitive of the Justice system for accusations that he received a US $20 million bribe.