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So who else is 'democrat' Hugo Chavez financing?

By Aleksander Boyd

New York 13.12.07 - Been a bit slow on the news lately but, what to do about the arrest of Moises Maionica, 36, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, 37, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, 40, Franklin Duran, 40, and Carlos Kauffmann, 35, in Miami for "acting and conspiring to act as agents of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela within the United States, without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States, as required by law? It seems that the stench goes all the way up to the offices of the 'democratic' leaders of Venezuela and Argentina. Demonstrably we have two in the count: Evo Morales and Cristina Kirchner. I wonder if solid evidence on Red Ken and Daniel Ortega will ever surface, perhaps it is only a matter of time.

Vindication juice anyone? While at it, one must wonder how would one Eva Golinger take the news? Will she be as worried as Mark Weisbrot?

For the sake of its historic significance I reproduce below press release from the US Department of Justice and affidavit of Michael J. Lasiewicki, Special Agent (SA) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


Four Foreign Nationals Arrested and Charged with Being Illegal Agents of a Foreign Government

WASHINGTON -- Three Venezuelans and an Uruguayan national were arrested last night and appeared in federal court in Miami today on charges of acting and conspiring to act as agents of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela within the United States, without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States, as required by law, announced Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for Justice Department’s National Security Division, R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office.

Charged in the complaint were defendants Moises Maionica, 36, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, 37, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, 40, Franklin Duran, 40, and Carlos Kauffmann, 35. All have been arrested, except for defendant Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, who remains at large. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of ten (10) years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, the defendants coordinated and participated in a series of meetings, beginning in August 2007, in South Florida with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson to procure Antonini’s help in concealing the source of an intended $800,000 cash contribution to the political campaign of a candidate in the recent Argentine presidential election of Oct. 28, 2007. The last meeting took place on Dec. 11, 2007, when defendants Maionica, Duran, and another individual met with Antonini to discuss the creation of false documents in furtherance of the cover-up.

The events culminating in today’s criminal charges began on Aug. 4, 2007, when Antonini flew by Cessna Citation, bearing registration number N5113S, from Venezuela to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The privately chartered aircraft had previously departed from Caracas Maiquetía International Airport in Venezuela, carrying eight passengers on board, including, among others, Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson. Upon arrival at Buenos Aires, Argentine Customs Service inspected the luggage offloaded from the Cessna Citation, and found approximately $800,000 in United States currency in luggage being carried by Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson. The Argentine authorities seized the money and Antonini returned to his South Florida home.

The complaint alleges that beginning in mid-August, 2007 and continuing through Dec. 11, 2007, the defendants and other participants in the conspiracy, acting as agents of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, sought to obtain the assistance of Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, a U.S. citizen who travels under both United States and Venezuelan passports, in concealing from the people of Argentina and others, the source and destination and the role of the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the attempted delivery of the approximately $800,000.

During these meetings, the defendants told Antonini that various high-ranking Venezuelan government officials, including the Office of the Vice President of the Republic, members of the DISIP (Intelligence and Preventive Services Directorate), and a high-ranking official from the Justice Ministry of Venezuela, were aware of this matter. The defendants told Antonini that these funds had been destined for the campaign of a candidate in the Argentine presidential election of Oct. 28, 2007.

“The complaint filed today outlines an alleged plot by agents of the Venezuelan government to manipulate an American citizen in Miami in an effort to keep the lid on a burgeoning international scandal. These arrests should serve as a warning to other agents who operate illegally in America on behalf of foreign powers,” said Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta stated, “Today’s complaint alleges an effort by the agents of Venezuela to travel to the United States for the purpose coercing our citizens to help conceal the true nature of a growing international scandal. This is not the first time in recent years that we have charged individuals with operating illegally in South Florida as agents of foreign powers, and likely will not be the last. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to make prosecution of these cases one of our highest priorities.”

“The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement and intelligence community partners to pursue those who act illegally as agents of foreign governments while in our country," said Acting Assistant Director Daniel L. Cloyd, FBI Counterintelligence Division.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Solomon stated, “South Florida takes pride in the diversity of the people that have chosen to live here and we will always embrace those that come here to enjoy the freedom and opportunities that are available to us all. When unregistered foreign agents believe that they can operate on our soil with impunity and disregard for U.S. laws, it undermines the national security of our country and the safety of our citizens. This case demonstrates our resolve in ensuring that activities conducted in the United States are free from nefarious foreign influence.”

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its work in this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Mulvihill and Senior Trial Attorney Clifford I. Rones, of the Counterespionage Section at the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

A copy of this press release may be found on the Justice Department’s website at www.usdoj.gov, or on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.


AFFIDAVIT

I, Michael J. Lasiewicki, Special Agent (SA) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), being duly sworn, depose and state as follows:

1. I have been a Special Agent with the FBI since 09/07/04, stationed at the Miami, Florida Field Office. I am currently assigned to a squad dedicated to the investigation of, among other matters, violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 951, that is, Acting as an Illegal Agent of a Foreign Government and Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, that is, Conspiracy to Act as an Illegal Agent of a Foreign Government.

2. The information contained in this affidavit is based on my personal observations, conversations with other law enforcement agents and officials involved in this investigation, documents provided to me in my official capacity, tape recorded conversations, interviews with cooperating witnesses, and on my experience and background as a FBI Special Agent.

3. Since this affidavit is being submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable cause for the arrest of Moises Maionica, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, Franklin Duran, and Carlos Kaufhann, I have not included each and every fact known to me concerning this investigation. I have set forth only the facts which I believe are necessary to establish probable cause to believe that Moises Maionica, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, Franklin Duran, and Carlos Kaufhann have committed violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 951,371, and 2.

4. Title 18, United States Code, Sections 951 and 2 make it a federal offense to knowingly, without prior notification to the Attorney General as required by law, act in the United States as an agent of a foreign government or to knowingly aid and abet an individual who is knowingly, without prior notification to the Attorney General as required by law, acting in the United States as an agent of a foreign government.

5. Title 18, United States Code, Section 37 1 makes it a federal offense to knowingly and willhlly combine, conspire, confederate and agree with another to commit an offense against the United States, in this case, to knowingly act in the United States as an agent of a foreign government.

6. On August 4,2007, a Cessna Citation, bearing registration number N5 1 13s landed at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The privately chartered aircraft had previously departed from Caracas Maiquetia International Airport in Venezuela, carrying eight passengers on board, including, among others, Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson. During a search, conducted by the Argentine Customs Service, of luggage belonging to the passengers and offloaded from the Cessna Citation, approximately $800,000 in United States currency, was discovered and confiscated by the Argentine Customs Service. The Argentine Customs Service discovered the funds in a piece of luggage being carried by Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson. These funds had been destined for the campaign of a candidate in the Argentine presidential election of October 28, 2007; neither the true source nor the intended recipient of those cash funds had been disclosed.

7. Moises Maionica, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, Franklin Duran, and Carlos Kauffinann and the other participants in the conspiracy, acting as agents ofthe BolivarianRepublic ofvenezuela sought to obtain the assistance of Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, a U. S. citizen who travels under both United States and Venezuelan passports, in concealing from the people of Argentina and others, the source and destination and the role of the government ofthe Bolivarian Republic ofvenezuela in the attempted delivery of the aforementioned approximately $800,000.

8. On August 17,2007, FRANKLIN DURAN, CARLOS KAUFFMANN, and MOISES MAIONICA entered the United States at Miami International Airport.

9. On August 23,2007, FRANKT.,IN DURAN, CARLOS KAUFFMANN, MOISES MAIONICA, and another individual met with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. At that meeting, FRANKLIN DURAN revealed to Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson the identity of the candidate in the Argentine Republic presidential campaign who was intended to receive the approximately $800,000 which had been confiscated at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. FRANKL,IN DURAN further advised Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that he (Duran) had spoken with a very high ranking official of DISIP, and a very high ranking official of the Justice Ministry of Venezuela, concerning the aborted donation. DISIP is a department of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, known as the Intelligence and Preventive Services Directorate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. FRANKLIN DURAN further advised Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that authorities in both Argentina and Venezuela would pursue Antonini, if Antonini said that the seized funds did not belong to him (Antonini). CARLOS KAUFFMANN advised Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that the consequences of Antonini's future actions might put the life ofhtonini's children at risk. MOISES MAIONICA advised Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that PDVSA (Petrideas de Venezuela S. A.) would pay for all the expenses and financial penalties that Antonini might incur as a result of the seizure of the $800,000.

10. On August 27,2007, MOISES MAIONICA, FRANKLIN DURAN, and another individual from Argentina met with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. At this meeting, FRANKLIN DUR4N advised Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, in substance, that disclosure of the purpose and intended recipient of the seized cash could result in the loss of the election by the intended recipient. FIWNKLIN DURAN further asserted to Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that the people in Venezuela and Argentine wanted Antonini's mess to be solved so that the truth didn't come out. F-IN DURAN identified the individual who had taken the seized cash on board the aircraft as the assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of PDVSA.

11. On August 29, 2007, -IN DLTRAN spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson; in that conversation, FIWKLIN DLTRAN requested that Antonini electronically transmit a power of attorney to him, and assured Antonini that the matter was being handled at "the top of the Venezuelan government."

12. On September 16,2007, MOISES MAIONICA spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and advised Antonini that his (MAIONICA's) involvement in this matter began with a three way telephone call between the Office of the Vice President of Venezuela, DISIP and himself (MAIONICA) in which MAIONICA was given his mission.

13. On October 4, 2007, MOISES MAIONICA spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and advised Antonini that an emissary was being sent to Antonini and that Antonini was to personally tell that emissary what Antonini required in order to participate in the conspiracy, as described in paragraph 7.

14. On October 27,2007, at approximately 1 1 : 15 a. m., MOISES MAIONICA spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and advised Antonini that the emissary was going to travel on Sunday (October 28, 2007) and that the name of MOISES MAIONICA and Antonini's "common friend" would be the code name by which Antonini would recognize the emissary.

15. On October 27,2007, at approximately 12:28 p. m., MOISES MAIONICA spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and instructed Antonini that the emissary would approach Antonini; that the emissary and Antonini were then to move several meters away from their initial contact point, and only then to discuss the matter at hand.

16. On October 27,2007, ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ entered the United States at Miami International Airport.

17. On October 28, 2007, RODOLFO EDGARDO WANSEELE PACIELLO drove ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ to a meeting with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson in Plantation, Florida. ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ acknowledged the code word, and informed Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that Antonini was required to guarantee that he was going to work with "the attorneys," and, specifically, that Antonini sign a power of attorney. ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ M e r assured Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that Antonini would be skillfully and discretely helped. ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ M e r advised Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that he (Canchica) was the "last link" in the chain and that his (Canchica's) mission was to verifL matters. RODOLFO EDGARDO WANSEELE PACIELLO conducted counter-surveillance during and after the meeting in Plantation, Florida.

18. On November 6,2007, MOISES MAIONICA informed Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson that a very high ranking official of DISIP, using the name "Awelo," would be calling Antonini.

19. On November 6,2007, an individual who identified himself as "Awelo" spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and advised Antonini that the young man (ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ) who traveled to Miami had advised him of Antonini's concerns and that Antonini's concerns were being addressed.

20. On November 18,2007, an individual who identified himself as "Arvelo" spoke on the telephone with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and informed Antonini that he was sending MOISES MAIONICA or another individual to Miami.

21. On December 1 1,2007, Moises Maionica, Franklin Duran, and another individual held further discussions with Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson in Ft. Lauderdale, FL regarding the creation of a false paper trail to conceal the true source and purpose of the approximately $800,000 referred to in paragraph 6.

22. Moises Maionica, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, Franklin Duran, and Carlos Kaufhann had not notified the Attorney General, as required by law, prior to their acting in the United States as agents of a foreign government.

23. Based on the foregoing, I submit that there is probable cause to believe that from in or about August, 2007 to the present, in Miami-Dade County, in the Southern District of Florida, and elsewhere, Moises Maionica, Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, Rodolfo Edgardo Wanseele Paciello, Franklin Duran, and Carlos Kaufhann did knowingly and willhlly combine, conspire, confederate and agree with each other and with other individuals, to commit an offense against the United States, that is, to knowingly act in the United States as agents of a foreign government, specifically, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States as required by law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 95 1; all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; and further that between August, 2007 and the present, in Miami-Dade County, in the Southern District of Florida, and elsewhere, MOISES MAIONICA, ANTONIO JOSE CANCHICA GOMEZ, RODOLFO EDGARDO WANSEELE PACIELLO, FRANICLINDURAN, and CARLOS KAUFFMAN knowingly, without prior notification to the Attorney General as required by law, acted in the United States as agents of a foreign government, specifically, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 95 1 and 2.



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