Spanish – Thanks to Avior, Nicolás Maduro’s regime now owns the Airbus with which it can evade international sanctions.
Although the airline claims that this is a “dation in payment,” it is a voluntary handover of the aircraft, which will benefit the regime.
“A very important tool is being sold to a regime that is sanctioned by the United States,” Luis Suárez, a partner and director of Avior, told the local newspaper, reiterating that the company’s debt is less than the value of the plane.
Suárez’s statements come after Avior Airlines denied that it was negotiating the sale of an Airbus 340-300 aircraft with the Maduro regime. Carmen Sofía Alfonzo, the company’s communications director, said that they are allegedly only offering the aircraft to the Venezuelan state as part of a debt payment for operational reasons.
“If you want to use the plane to pay off a debt, it’s a commercial transaction because the company is handing over an asset voluntarily,” the director told El Nacional.
The giant aircraft was owned by Avior and has now passed into the hands of the state-owned Conviasa. The regime intended to acquire an aircraft capable of flying directly to Iran so that they would not be forced to make layovers in other countries.
A source told the PanAm Post on the condition of anonymity that the Chavista regime’s plan was contrived after the arrest of Alex Saab, Maduro’s frontman in Cape Verde. Saab was reportedly arrested when he made a stopover in the country to refuel the aircraft on which he was traveling.
With this new acquisition, Avior will be helping Nicolás Maduro to avoid sanctions and also hide the illicit international business that the tyranny maintains.
Venezuelan journalist Maibort Petit also reported on the issue and noted that the itineraries would include Russia, Turkey, “or another direct destination without layovers to avoid the risk of arrest.”
Avior’s business with Chavismo
A report revealed that in addition to the Airbus transaction, Avior has also cooperated with the state-owned Bolivariana de Aeropuertos (Baer), using firms registered in Florida with accounts in U.S. dollars in violation of U.S. sanctions.
“The documents in our possession reveal how Nicolás Maduro’s regime has used third parties (Aesoservices A7 and Avior Airlines C.A.) to handle dollar operations in the United States.”
“Avior’s directors, Juan Bracamonte, Jorge Luis Añez and Arnaldo Añez, through its Vice President of Finance, Jorge Alva, have helped the Caracas regime on several occasions to evade sanctions and facilitate the embezzlement of funds by Chavista officials, establishing schemes that have allowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to be paid to Bolivariana de Aeropuertos (BAER) S.A. for airport rights, using a company called Aeroservices A7, with account No.9146143659 at the U.S. bank Citibank N.A. where payments are received on behalf of BAER,” the website states.