The PJ Tatler

Enemy of the State: Gustavo Coronel Talks About His Life as a Designated Enemy of the Chavez Regime

Petroleum engineer Gustavo Coronel was enemy #827 on Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s list of 1100 designated enemies of the state. Chavez is dead — much to Sean Penn’s lament — but Coronel told radio host Andrea Tantaros today that he is still considered an enemy of that regime.

What does it take to get oneself designated an enemy of the Venezuelan state?

“I write a lot against the government,” Coronel said. “I write especially about the corruption. I wrote two papers, one for the Cato Institute, and another one for the Venezuelan press, denouncing very specific acts of corruption by the Chavez government.”

Coronel says that Chavez has left Venezuela in “total disarray.”

“He destroyed the oil company,” Coronel said. “The oil company was in charge of producing the oil, selling oit at commercial prices, and giving the money to the central government.” Chavez, he said, has turned the state oil company into a house-building company that serves the state’s political interests. The result is that it is far less productive than it was before Chavez, and Chavez gave oil away to Cuba and other leftist states to cement alliances with them.

Despite his alleged devotion to Venezuela’s poor, Chavez died a billionaire with assets reportedly worth more than $2 billion.

Now that Chavez is dead, what are the odds that a pro-freedom, pro-American government could replace him? Listen to the entire interview here.

The Andrea Tantaros Show is produced by the Fox and Rice Experience.