Yesterday my colleague Melissa Garriga wrote a piece about “Human rights crusader” Thor Halvorssen, aka Thorzito. He blocks me on Twitter and runs the little known neocon outfit called Human Rights Foundation, which Garriga exposed in her story as a sham and which I had demonstrated to be a fraud a few years back.
Let me now quote liberally from my story, and this section on Thorzito’s poppa:
His father, Thor Halvorssen Hellum, was also a one-time CIA informant and served under Carlos Andres Perez, who was impeached for corruption. But Perez is best known for ordering in 1989 the murder of hundreds if not thousands of people who protested a sharp hike in bus fares and other neoliberal austerity measures prescribed by the best and the whitest in the U.S. government and the International Monetary Fund.
Halvorssen portrays his parents as “freedom fighters,” especially his now dead father, but it’s hard to trust anything he says because he is so fundamentally dishonest. It reminds me of what Mary McCarthy once said of Lillian Hellman, “[E]very word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” And anyone who served under the murderous, thieving Perez, in whatever capacity, is no freedom fighter.
Thor Jr.’s story is that Thor Sr. was heroically battling the Medellin Cartel. I have my doubts. (Also, apropos of cocaine trafficking, the Netflix series “Narcos” is entertaining, but it’s American propaganda and by the end of the first episode I was rooting enthusiastically for Pablo Escobar vs. the DEA.) In any case, by the time he turned thirty-four Thor Sr. was already at “the helm of telephone giant CANTV,” which was “considered one of the most prestigious political appointment in the country’s economic sector,” according to this article, and that would make him, by definition, a propaganda specialist.
After publishing Melissa’s story I received information from a friend of Washington Babylon — information that suggests that Thorzito’s poppa long had a hand in a secret shell company called Alibol Trading Corporation that was registered in Panama. Of course, rich Venezuelans who belong to its rancid old oligarchy could have any number of reasons to have a secret offshore account in Panama, as opposed to walking across the street from their home and opening a non-secret account.
At the same time, it’s worth noting that Alibol bears some resemblance to exactly the sort of vehicles typically used by Venezuelan (and other) oligarchs to funnel money out of their country to evade taxes or hide the profits of crime. I’d also briefly note that the president of Alibol — or someone with the very same name — is quite interesting too. (In corporate records, Thor Sr. is described as a “director” and “vice president.”)
Thor(zito) and Thor Sr. have the same name but it’s likely that it was poppa that set this shell firm up, because it was created in 1981, when Thorzito was a wee lad of about five-years-old. Other records I unearthed show that Alibol has not paid required fees to Panama for over 10 years, which suggests the firm hasn’t been active for quite some time and that Thorzito was not involved in this tax evasion scam, if that’s what it was.
As I said above, there are many, many reasons why a rich Venezuelan would send his money offshore. While most of those reasons probably have to do with tax evasion or fraud or that sort of thing, there’s just no way of knowing. (Especially since Thorzito doesn’t speak to me and has, as noted above, blocked me on Twitter, for unknown and mysterious reasons, ever since my piece on him came out.)