|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Venezuela (Click here for more Venezuela news)

Even After Further US Sanctions, Iran to Continue Supporting Venezuela's Maduro Regime
Tehran calls Secretary of State Pompeo “Secretary of Hate” for sanctioning five tanker captains who transported crude oil to Venezuela



By Carlos Camacho

CARACAS -- In only a few weeks Iran has sent the embattled Nicolas Maduro regime gasoline to assuage a shortage, spare parts to repair refineries and chemical components to manufacture the key fuel. This week they also sent a tanker that can carry 22,800 tons, saying it was food for the country's first Iranian supermarket.

Analysts also think that the ship was carrying heavy parts necessary to repair Venezuela's dilapidated refineries.

And, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi on Thursday, cooperation will continue or even increase between the two heavily sanctioned nations.

"The desperate measures of the U.S. against Iranian nationals, such as the one announced by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also known as the Secretary of Hate, is a sign of the failure of the so-called 'maximum pressure'," Mousavi stated, according to Iran news agency IRNA.

"Despite the pressure from the US, Iran and Venezuela remain firm in their fight against the illegal US sanctions," he said.

Maduro’s importing of Iranian gasoline marks the first time in history in which Iran exports gasoline to Latin America. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and six refineries, but years of mismanagement have allowed the oil industry to fall into steep disrepair and state oil company PDVSA has not manufactured gasoline since January.

The gasoline sent by Iran is being sold by the Maduro regime in dollars, at US-equivalent prices of $0.50 per liter. Those that want cheaper, subsidized gasoline need to show proof of allegiance to the ruling PSUV party, wait days in a long line and can only load 120 liters a month, or three full tanks.

But besides the fuel, Iran is expressing its support for Maduro in other, eyebrow-raising ways, such as starting a huge Iranian supermarket

The supermarket Megasis will take over a huge space that initially housed French-Colombian Costco-like Exitos Hypermarkets. Chavez nationalized Exitos and the space became a government-subsidized Bicentenarrio Supermarket. When the state coffers ran dry, it became a CLAP supermarket -- except no relation to the real Venezuela government subsidized-Clap food boxes provided to government loyalists all over the country.

Well, one relation to the government Clap -- it was reportedly owned by Alex Saab, a Colombian man often described as James Bond of money laundering.

A SUPERMARKET WITH HISTORY

After Caracas Capital and the Associated Press broke the news of the incoming Iranian cargo freighter Golson, the Iranian Embassy in Caracas tweeted: “Tomorrow (Sunday, June 21) the ship Golsan will arrive to bring food to inaugurate the first Iranian supermarket in Venezuela. Another success in the friendly and fraternal relations between two countries” using the hashtag #IranyVenezuela.

Caracas newspaper “Tal Cual” reported that “supervisors of the CLAP branch of Terrazas del Avila have already been informed that next month the supermarket will open as Megasis and that the new owners are Iranians.”

The “Tiendas CLAP” supermarket was managed until March by Salva Foods, one of Saab’s companies in Venezuela and will now be “Megasis”, the nation’s first “Iranian” supermarket.

Banners for canned tuna and tomato paste from “Delnoosh”, an Iranian alimentary brand, and “Varamin” (also, the name of a city in Iran) cooking oil are now up at the site, replacing the “CLAP” and “Salva Foods” signs.

An internet search reveals that “Megasis, C. A.” is registered with the National Integrated Customs and Tax Administration Service (Seniat) under RIF J500238703 and under the category of economic activity "other service activities" and nothing else.

Megasis and the brands it is advertising Delnoosh are actually owned by a subsidiary of the Iranian military.

Saab had the store since an official decree in 2018, and the Terrazas location became a “Tiendas CLAP” in early 2019.

Saab was not yet a “red alert” Interpol fugitive, but merely a shady Colombian businessman who had appeared publicly with Hugo Chavez and Maduro several times, always smiling, always signing new business deals.

CLAP was also the name of the subsidized food scheme the U.S. accuses Saab of using to launder hundreds of millions for Maduro. The Interpol red notice posted by U.S. authorities states that Saab can get up to 20 years for that crime.

The “Tiendas CLAP” took over the whole “Abastos Bicentenarios” chain of supermarkets Chavez founded in 2010, to commemorate the bicentennial of Venezuela’s Independence. Before being a “Bicentenario”, Saab’s “CLAP” it was a branch of the Colombian “Exito” megastores Chavez nationalized in 2010. Chavez even held a televised public event announcing the “Exito” nationalization from this same location.

Meanwhile, Saab languishes in a Cape Verde prison. He has been jailed for two weeks now and on Tuesday a Cape Verde judge denied his habeas corpus request and opened the way for extradition to the U.S.

Saab had been travelling between Iran and Venezuela when his jet stopped for fuel in Cape Verde and he was detained at the request of the United States, which intends to extradite him to face charges (and questioning) in the U.S.A.



 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2020 © All rights reserved