It seems that the fervor to end the US embargo against Cuba’s murderous regime grows stronger each day. Both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, are joining forces in Washington to push for an end to trade sanctions and travel restrictions against a totalitarian dictatorship that holds 11-million+ Cubans as slaves, selling their sweat and their blood to the highest bidder. This increase in intensity, however, has very little to do with hastening the end of oppression in Cuba. This burgeoning push by opportunists made up of liberal and conservative politicians, businessmen, and lobbyists is instead being fueled by the realization that they may be missing out on some sweetheart business deals with Cuba’s slave masters.
Recently, Hugo Chavez ordered the arrest of a wealthy Venezuelan banker on charges of bank fraud. The arrest surprised everyone since this banker, Ricardo Fernández Barruecos, was one of Chavez’s close associates and according to news reports was generously providing a cut of his multi-million dollar profits to Chavez’s brother, Adan Chavez. I can only imagine that there was indeed some bank fraud going on, but of the type that cut out the Chavez brothers. As the story of this arrest unfolds, we find out from El Nuevo Herald that this banker had been given the mission of finding new business opportunities in Cuba after the death of Fidel Castro. In other words, he was sent to find new ways on how to exploit the slave labor pool in Cuba.
BY GERARDO REYES
El Nuevo Herald
A multimillionaire Venezuelan businessman, currently jailed in Caracas on bank fraud charges, had been sent to Cuba by President Hugo Chávez to help the country recover from its economic slump and also to spur economic growth on the island after Fidel Castro dies, according to former employees.
In an initial show of his new responsibility, looking for a personal benefit from future business in Cuba, Ricardo Fernández Barruecos gave the Cuban government a gift of 28 BMW automobiles, his former security consultant Luis Castro said in a sworn statement.
Castro told El Nuevo Herald that Fernández, envisioning brilliant prospects for his business in Cuba, also earned the support of Raúl Castro to open up the island’s economy after the death of his brother Fidel.
Another former employee of Fernández’s organization told El Nuevo Herald that Fernández made several visits to Cuba by private jet and met with then-Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque.
But the close relationship between Fernández and Chávez soon ended.
Venezuelan regulatory agencies in November seized Fernández’s banks, companies and properties, accusing him of massive fraud related to his recent acquisition of four banks.
The scuttled Cuba mission is just one of many aspects of Fernández’s life that have recently emerged in the wake of the fraud charges.
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Castro, Fernández’s former security consultant, said that he learned of the connections with Cuba in 2007 from a Fextun employee.
The worker asked Fernández about the details of the automobile shipment to Cuba and, visibly uncomfortable, Fernández explained that they were presents for Cuban officials designed to curry favor with the island government, according to Castro.
“When Fidel dies and Raúl has total power, Fernández was hoping to take advantage by buying some bankrupt companies in Cuba into which he would inject money to relaunch them,” Castro said.
It is apparent that the best way to win the hearts and minds of staunch Stalinists and gain favorable business opportunities is to give them a fleet of German luxury automobiles. With the embargo in place, however, American opportunists do not have that option. Instead, they have had to sit on the sidelines and watch the rest of the world make billions of dollars taking advantage of the Cuban people. American opportunists need the embargo eliminated now so that they, too, can get a piece of the action.
Nothing says “diplomacy” better than a brand new BMW 750Li. It warms the hearts of slave masters and dictators. The repressed Cuban people? Well, it will eventually trickle down–someone has to wash the new BMWs.