“EXILED JURISTS” SAYS A LOT ABOUT A COUNTRY: Exiled jurists hear graft claims against Venezuela’s Maduro.
The jurists, known as the “Supreme Court in Exile,” held a public hearing in Colombia’s elegant congressional building to review accusations linking Maduro to the giant Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which has acknowledged paying bribes in many Latin American countries.
The proceedings were notably one-sided: While an attorney was assigned for Maduro, his government considers the body illegitimate and both the judges and prosecutor have conflicts of interest, having fled into exile to avoid Maduro’s reach.
Ousted Venezuelan Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who long had access to the country’s investigative files, told the jurists that she has evidence that Maduro sought $50 million from Odebrecht to finance his 2013 presidential campaign. Ortega said that in exchange for Odebrecht’s help, Maduro promised the construction firm new public works contracts in Venezuela as well as help in facilitating tens of millions of dollars in overdue payments.
Why, it’s almost as though socialism is more about state-sanctioned graft and corruption than it is about helping “the people.”