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ROGER SIMON: The Smartmatic Story: From Venezuela with No Love.

Many have debated, and Rudy Giuliani only vaguely explained on Lou Dobbs’ show by saying they had “different theories” of the case, why the Trump legal team separated from Sidney Powell.

Occam’s Razor has a simpler explanation: What Powell is investigating—complicated trans-national computer fraud, involving multiple countries, not just the United States, with immense implications for the democratic system worldwide—takes considerably longer to explicate and prove than the time available to question a presidential election before votes are certified and the Electoral College meets.

This was corroborated by discussions I held with two men in a position to understand a great deal of this fraud that they say originated in and still emanates to a great degree from Venezuela (with a little help from Cuban, Iranian and Hezbollah friends, possibly others).

These men wish to remain anonymous because they fear for their safety operating in foreign territory as they frequently do.

One of them is a former CIA officer who served in the Directorate of Operations and as chief of station in several countries. The other is of Venezuelan birth and lives in the United States.

In recent years, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and others, they have worked to “flip” leaders and military personnel inside the Venezuelan and Cuban establishments, many of whom were involved with or had information about the extensive narcotics trade undertaken by those two countries as well as Iran and Hezbollah.

This billion-dollar criminal enterprise, particularly regarding Hezbollah in this instance, was on the brink of an exposure and prosecution that was ultimately ignored, as Politico reported, by the Obama administration on the urgings of the mullahs in order to protect the then-incipient Iran Deal.

Some of what these men told me can be authenticated, some not for reasons beyond anyone’s control at the moment. I leave it to readers to decide for themselves.

Nevertheless, for the record, and to understand what we are dealing with, the following members of the Venezuelan leadership are currently indicted in the United States for narcotics trafficking: President Nicolas Maduro, National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello, petroleum minister Tareck El Aissami, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, former intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal, and Venezuelan Army Chief of Staff Vladimir Padrino.

To give an idea of the extent of the crime, notorious Mexican “narcotrafficante” El Chapo was said to be worth $1.2 billion. Diosdado Cabello, I was told by one of my informants, is worth in excess of $20 billion! That puts him up there among the richest people in the world. Mix petrodollars—Venezuela, in whatever condition, has one of the richest oil fields on the planet—with drug dollars and you have a lucrative cocktail.

Smartmatic

The two men spoke with me about the origins of the Smartmatic system, which they analogized in some respects to 9/11, mentioning that it was another example of how we tend to underestimate our adversaries, in this case their computer capabilities.

With China and Russia to worry about, Venezuela has been more or less off our radar, but, given the figures above, it shouldn’t be. Their ruling class—not their people, clearly—has enough working capital to do as much damage as anyone.

More than a mere Banana Republic, they are a growing criminal state with tentacles reaching into Colombia and across the Atlantic into one of the major parties of our NATO ally Spain, I was told.

But back to Smartmatic.

In 1998, socialist Hugo Chavez, on his way to being maximum leader for life, changed the constitution of his country, allowing him to serve a six-year term instead of five—with the caveat that if 20 percent of Venezuelans were to sign a petition demanding a recall, an election would be held.

To the surprise of Chavez, such a petition was forthcoming and his attempt to invalidate the signatures failed.

A system had to be invented to guarantee the caudillo’s victory in the forthcoming presidential recall referendum.

Enter Smartmatic, a company founded in Delaware in April 2000 by three young  Venezuelan engineers.

January 2004, a Venezuelan government agency, the New York Times reported, invested $200,000 in a technology company owned by those same three.

Related: Big Tech Expert Says Google’s ‘Manipulations’ Shifted ‘at Least Six Million Votes’ to Joe Biden.

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