Argentina-Venezuela bribe caseFriday, April 23, 2010
‘Uberti collected the money for Kirchner,’ Carrió blasts
Civic Coalition leader Elisa Carrió also raised her voice in the midst of the controversy brought to light by former Argentine Ambassador to Venezuela Alberto Sadous, who claims that Argentine businessmen were forced to pay bribes to the Planning Ministry during Néstor Kirchner's administration. Carrió blasted: "The collected money was sent to Kirchner."
Carrió blamed Claudio Uberti for being in charge of directing the money. She said: "It was Claudio Uberti who collected the money coming from the bribes that the businesses were supposed to pay the Planning Ministry. And he gave it to the then-president Néstor Kirchner."
According to Carrió's view, the percentages the businessmen had to pay were higher than the one Sadous denounced, stressing that "15 percent was to negotiate with Venezuela and 10 percent was for Uberti to keep." In her belief, "the fact even explains why Uberti was constantly travelling to the country." Carrió harshly linked these "bribe times" to the 2007 political "suitcase scandal," where it was said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was financing Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's presidential campaign. The suitcase had been filled with 790,550 dollars and was spotted after a private flight carrying Argentine and Venezuelan officials arrived in Buenos Aires. Carrió assured: "The suitcase appeared to be something permanent; they were not only entering the country to finance a presidential campaign."
Since the Civic Coalition had first denounced this situation, she took to the press again after Sadous' accusations were made public. "He is only speaking of the trust law, but then he moved on to denounce what we have said before," the national deputy went on to say.
Former Argentine Ambassador in Caracas Eduardo Sadous had denounced that Argentine businessmen who were willing to trade with Venezuela during the 2003-2007 period were supposed to pay a 20 percent bribe.
According to Sadous, the "commissions" were asked for in order to "make the negotiations easier" during the Néstor Kirchner administration. Sadous then was questioned within the framework of this investigation, and assured businessmen were supposed to pay between a 15 and 20 percent bribe to the Argentine Planning Ministry.
Sadous assured the bribes "came from the Argentine side."
De Vido, head of the Planning Ministry back then and now, said the accusation "was infamous."