CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela's representative to the United Nations is dismissing a Wall Street Journal article about a U.S. probe into billions of dollars in bribes allegedly paid to executives at the country's state-run oil giant that he used to run.
Rafael Ramirez posted messages on Twitter Thursday describing the report as attacks by "enemies of the people" in retaliation for the late President Hugo Chavez's recovery of the nation's oil wealth for the benefit of Venezuelans.
The Journal report Thursday is based on anonymous sources and law enforcement documents. It says a consulting business belonging to Ramirez's cousin demanded huge kickbacks from international vendors in exchange for awarding contracts with the PDVSA oil company.
Venezuela's government has yet to respond to the report.