BRASILIA A Brazilian strategist was paid $20 million beneath-the-desk for the 2012 re-election marketing campaign of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, substantially of it handed more than in funds by the male who now sales opportunities Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro, in accordance to a plea cut price assertion produced community on Thursday.
Strategist Joao Santana, nicknamed the “maker of presidents” for helping Brazil’s leftist leaders hold energy for 13 several years, was arrested final 12 months with his wife Monica Moura and they now are serving eight-12 months jail sentences for million-greenback payments from bribe money in the sprawling Car Clean graft investigation.
In a deposition to Brazilian prosecutors in March, Moura detailed comparable illegal, beneath-the-desk payments totaling $fifty three.nine million, mostly paid by Brazilian engineering organizations, for their do the job overseas advising election campaigns in Panama, El Salvador, Angola and Venezuela.
Moura, who appeared after the couple’s funds, told prosecutors that Maduro, then Chavez’s foreign minister, personally paid her with funds in baggage in his office in Caracas.
Maduro handed her $eleven hundreds of thousands in an unspecified selection of conferences and provided her with a bodyguard for her stability when she remaining the foreign ministry, Moura said.
She said $7 million was paid offshore to the pair by Odebrecht, Brazil’s premier engineering conglomerate that has admitted to bribing government officials for contracts in Brazil and a dozen other nations around the world, and one more $two million by Brazilian builder Andrade Gutierrez. She said the Venezuelan government under no circumstances paid a remaining $fifteen million for the 2012 marketing campaign.
The Maduro government did not instantly reply to requests for comment on Moura’s assertion.
Maduro, a previous bus driver, is facing mounting unrest as his opponents acquire to the streets in escalating numbers demanding overdue elections. At least 39 people have died in the unrest since early April. [nL1N1ID006]
Santana helped Brazil’s to start with working class president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva get re-elected in 2006 and managed two thriving presidential bids by his hand-picked successor Dilma Rousseff in 2010 and 2014.
Rousseff was impeached final 12 months, ending a 13-12 months operate in office by Lula’s Personnel Bash. Lula is facing 5 trials on corruption and obstruction of justice indictments and appeared in court docket on Wednesday to deny a luxurious beachfront condominium was a present from a government contractor. [nL1N1IC1DN]
LULA AND DILMA Knew
Both equally Santana and Moura said in their plea cut price depositions that Lula and Rousseff realized illegal cash were being staying utilised in the campaigns the pair worked on and that they were being staying paid in bucks deposited in offshore accounts.
Rousseff said in a assertion the pair were being lying. Lula’s attorneys said the plea cut price statements by two defendants proved practically nothing and were being element of “political persecution” of the previous president.
Santana recommended profitable presidential candidates Mauricio Funes in El Salvador and Danilo Medina in the Dominican Republic.
Lula asked Santana to do the job for Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Africa’s 2nd-longest serving leader who was getting difficulties finding a strategist, Moura told prosecutors. She said Odebrecht picked up the $20-million invoice.
Santana also worked from his will for defeated Panamanian presidential prospect José Domingos Arias at Lula’s ask for and with Odebrecht paying out the pair $eleven.4 million, Moura said.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito Creating by Anthony Boadle Editing by Michael Perry)