Monday, March 12, 2018

Venezuela and Teapot Dome

Remember the Teapot Dome scandal? Maybe not--it was in the early 1920s during the Harding Administration. But it was a huge deal then, as the Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall got bribes from private oil companies in exchange for access to oil fields the department controlled. Fall was convicted and spent a year in prison.

Fast forward to 2018.

The president’s oldest son and Texas hedge fund manager Gentry Beach have been involved in business deals together dating back to the mid-2000s and recently formed a company, Future Venture LLC, despite past claims by both men that they were just friends, according to previously unreported court records and other documents obtained by AP.
Last February, just as Trump Sr. was settling into office, Beach and an Iraqi-American businessman met with top officials at the National Security Council to present their plan for lightening U.S. sanctions in Venezuela in exchange for opening business opportunities for U.S. companies, according to a former U.S. official with direct knowledge of the proposal.
Career foreign policy experts were instructed to take the meetings, first reported last April by the website, at the direction of the West Wing because Beach and the businessman were friends of Trump Jr., the official said. 

Pay money for better access to Venezuelan oil. The fact that the president didn't bite doesn't make it any less corrupt.

The irony here is that first Hugo Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro have always said the U.S. is being aggressive because it wants to take Venezuelan oil. This is actually an example of the exact opposite.


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