Or perhaps it is something else, entirely. In my last blog post, I referred to how they may be using their lawsuit to nail a Chavez government critic. But it also addresses another problem.
What they are likely afraid of is that their private bankers and money managers in the financial capitals could be getting a little restless about holding their accounts. After all, who wants to manage accounts from Venezuelans with dubious reputations? In the past, American banks have paid a high price for laundering ill-gotten South American wealth. So why sue Batiz, Reporte, or Ultimas Noticias--in Venezuela or Florida-- if they know they would lose? Instead, why not sue a rather unknown website that's yet to establish its crediblity? This way they can point to the lawsuit, and tell any banker doing KYC: "you see, we have clean hands, we are victims of a conspiracy and a court determined that." That way they can lay to rest any concerns for their reputations in the future, and point to hundreds of millions of dollars in profits and say it is all squeaky clean profits, made in less than three years of honest work.
Betancourt, Trebbau, Convit, Romero Lazo, and their partners evidently don't care about what's published in Spanish. But they are terrified of a breach in the digital divide between English and Spanish. Exposure abroad could mean no more weekends on the yacht in St. Tropez, no more brunches at the Knickerbocker Club, no more weddings in Ocala to show off the new helicopter to their cousins. What matters to them is what ends up in the English-speaking media, and I think there is a pattern here.
The evidence suggests it: reputed fellow bloggers deleting posts, other bloggers that have written about it emailing me asking for advice owing to legal concerns, while yet others already in the crosshairs of Derwick. So, bloggers writing in English, get threatening letters from millionaire New York lawyer Hector Torres. Meanwhile, Ultimas Noticias and Cesar Batiz are simply invisible to them.
Well, I have translated one of the Ultimas Noticias articles for the world to read. I include it below, and hope it is reprinted far and wide so that Derwick can cease its preposterous claims of a defamation campaign by some website, and can instead begin to address the elephant in the room: the allegations below aren’t from some ad hominem website, it is a thorough report from Venezuela's largest selling-newspaper. And it led to formal petitions from the newspaper for a thorough criminal investigation.
But putting aside the many criminal allegations against the Derwick boys, matters of freedom of speech and the silencing of whistleblowers is something near and dear to my heart. Due to my exercising freedom of speech on issues -like this one- about my country, I was once the target of the Mayor of London. Well, guess what? Views similar to mine on Livingstone had been vindicated.
In my next update I shall go through the lawsuit point by point. I do not know if Oscar Garcia Mendoza and his bank are behind Wiki Anti-Corruption, but regardless of that, what is undeniable is that the burden of proof is on Derwick, it needs to prove that the allegations against them are not true. This Kasowitz lawsuit is sure to be the focus of many stories, and I want to get ahead of it. Hector Torres's clients aren't building powerplants in Denmark, they are doing so in a narco-state, with a government ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world. And their subcontractor, ProEnergy Services, seems to restrict its work mostly to dodgy dictatorships.
Just yesterday a new twist: two Caracas publications, La Razón and 6to Poder, reported that new Electricity Minister, Hector Navarro, has been asked directly by President Hugo Chavez to investigate the corruption scandal related to Derwick and its directors. Oh dear.
I have been talking about the Derwick fraud to Cesar Batiz and other sources. One of the highlights thus far has been intellectual heavyweight Moises Naim tweeting my last report to his 51,981 followers. Derwick sued Oscar Garcia simply for tweeting a link. What is Derwick going to do now—sue Moises Naim too?
But perhaps more gripping, since I started writing about Derwick, my blog is being visited often by the FBI, Homeland Security, Dept. of Treasury, Dept. of State. I haven't seen this many visits from US. government domains since my other site, vcrisis.com, used to get in excess of a 150.000 visits a month. This may explain their fixation with silencing anyone who has written about their exploits in English.