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It’s Nice To Have Friends In Low Places!

Rico’s TICO BULL – Last week we learned that the Venezuelan government company, Alunasa, based in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, under the control of Venezuelan strongman Diosdado Cabello, was allegedly laundering money in the country.

Nicolas Maduro (L) embraces Diosdado Cabello, outside the National Assembly in Caracas on January 5, 2013 to dispel rumours of any rift between the two.

The allegations, though issued by the U.S. Treasury Department on May 18, was only learned last week of the news broke that the US had confiscated US$800 million from Cabello, and deported his daughter.

Last week, the Banco Nacional de Costa Rica closed the accounts of Alunasa, leaving the company broke and millions in debt with the state bank and the Caja, according to company officials. The BAC San Jose and Credomatic followed the Banco Nacional in closing Alunasa accounts and that of several Venezuelans named officials of the company.

The company, that has been operating in Costa Rica for decades, currently employs almost 300, who are in jeopardy of keeping their jobs and maybe even getting paid.

Of course, the company president, General Carlos Peña, denies the allegations and according to him, he is trying to keep the company afloat, seeking money and the intervention of the Carlos Alvarado administration.

With me so far?

From all accounts, this Diosdado Cabello is a bad guy, but a necessary evil in the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

So much so that on Tuesday, June 19, in the midst of the allegations in the U.S. and Costa Rica and possibly other countries, Diosdado Cabello is was sworn in as the new president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC).

Cabello also said that Nicolás Maduro and he are brothers and comrades, because “they are Chávez’s children”.

Cabello, who also serves as the vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), takes over the powerful lawmaking body from Delcy Rodriguez, who was appointed as the nation’s vice president last week.

The ANC, an elected body tasked with drafting a new Constitution to fulfill late president Hugo Chavez’s vision of Venezuelan-style socialism.

Widely regarded to be the second most powerful player in Venezuela, Cabello has longstanding links to drug trafficking, though it is all denied.

Cabello has often been described as “the octopus” because his tentacles extend to virtually every political and economic facet of the nation.

Yet, he is right there with Maduro, leading Venezuelans to despair.