Venezuela Steals from Canada, Gives to Russia

Diane Francis, columnist at the Financial Post, wrote up a short column about the Eligio Cedeño case in Venezuela interviewing Robert Amsterdam, making mention of the Rusoro controversy, which has a Russia-related angle.

“Venezuela said it will offer a joint venture to Russian-owned miner Rusoro to operate the Las Cristinas and Brisas gold projects, currently under contract to two Canadian companies, Mining minister Rodolfo Sanz on Thursday. He told a Russian delegation that a memorandum of understanding would soon be signed with Rusoro. It appeared that Sanz intends to replace the Canadian companies who operate the projects that contain some of Latin America’s largest gold deposits, with Rusoro, but he did not mention their names.”

Why would this be happening, given the fact that the Canadian companies had signed a deal and invested millions in good faith already?

“What’s happening in Venezuela is not understood by Canadians,” said Amsterdam in a recent interview. “Chavez has political prisoners, he is killing opposition without due process. I have a client who is victim to phony charges, no trial and has been in jail for two years. There are two million people on Chavez’s black list who are denied decent jobs. In the meantime, he is causing problems with neighboring countries and has bought US$10 billion worth of arms from Russia. We just don’t get the danger.”