Luis Alfonso de Borbón Martínez Bordiú and his father-in-law Victor Vargas Irausquin have in the past several weeks been caught up in an increasingly damaging scandal relating to the Vargas family’s financial dealings. Specifically, the Venezuelan Banco Occidental de Descuento, of which Victor Vargas is the president, has seen its Panamanian branch, the AllBank Corp, have all its operations in Panama shut down by the government of the country.
Banker Victor Vargas, who has a holiday home in Cadiz, Spain, is a polo player with almost 50 horses. He currently lives in the Dominican Republic, a tax haven that two years ago served as the location for an unsuccessful dialogue between Chavismo and the opposition.
According to Razon, the Venezuelan banker has a mansion in Palm Beach, United States called “Lechuza Caracas” just like his polo team. When Vargas bought it, he broke the price record in the area where the house is located.
In an interview for The Wall Street Journal, the banker pointed out: “People write stories about me saying I have a Ferrari, a plane, and a yacht, but it’s not true. I have three planes, two yachts, and six houses. I’ve been rich all my life.”
Although Vargas’ statement is true, the fact is that his wealth multiplied when Hugo Chavez took power in Venezuela. In an interview, he defined himself as “a socialist in the real sense of the term.”
According to the Spanish daily ABC, his friendship with the Chavez regime began when he opposed the general strike of workers and businessmen in 2002. Consequently, Chavismo awarded him most of the oil contracts (he controls 90 percent of the contractors in this industry), and he is now one of the wealthiest men in Venezuela.