First up, Congressman Gregory Meeks.
Stanford’s entire operation was put at risk, after the president of his bank in Venezuela, Gonzalo Tirado, threatened to go rogue. After being accused of stealing from the company, Tirado filed a lawsuit and publicly suggested that Stanford might be orchestrating a fraud.
In order to fix the problem, Stanford turned to a close ally in Congress: Meeks. The banker asked Meeks to go to Chavez, and urge him to pursue a criminal investigation against Tirado.
A month later, Meeks, a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee, traveled to Venezuela as part of a mission to thank Chavez and other leaders for a program that provided heating oil to Americans. A year later, Tirado was indicted in Venezuela on charges of swindling and tax-evasion.
In 2008, Meeks received over $12,000 in campaign contributions from Stanford and his employees.
In 2011, Meeks was listed as one of the most corrupt members of Congress. And that makes him the perfect choice.
The second man is none other than Congressman William Delahunt.
Money can’t buy love, unless you’re Anna Nicole Smith. But these days a little heating oil can buy friends in Washington, especially when they come as cheap as Democrat William Delahunt. Massachusetts wants bargain oil prices to help it through the winter. Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chávez wants influence in Washington. Leave it to the Congressman from the Commonwealth and a Kennedy to close the deal.
Last week Venezuela announced that its U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum would sell 12 million gallons of home heating oil at a 40% discount to help the poor in Massachusetts. The deal was announced by Mr. Delahunt on the lawn of a beneficiary before Thanksgiving, with Congressman Ed Markey at his side. “This today is about people, it’s not about politics,” Mr. Delahunt said with a straight face. Massachusetts-based Citizens Energy, run by the Kennedy clan, will be one of the distributors.
“To Citgo, to the people of Venezuela, our debt,” the Congressman pledged. Mr. Delahunt should rightly feel a debt to the people of Venezuela, whose per-capita income is perhaps one-tenth that of Massachusetts and whose sole source of hard currency is the oil that their leader is now giving away to the second-richest state in the union. But Mr. Delahunt has no unpaid debt to Mr. Chávez. For some years now the Congressman has been lobbying hard for the Venezuelan despot, whom he paints as a misunderstood humanitarian.
So now the United States will be sending two corrupt Dem Congressmen who had dubious relationships with Chavez as the American delegation to Chavez’s funeral.
The only question is why they decided to leave out Sean Penn.