The new owners of Venezuela’s Globovisión television live in expensive homes, drive luxury cars and splurge on visits to Miami despite the network’s commitment to advancing former President Hugo Chávez’s 21st century socialism.
Documents obtained by El Nuevo Herald show some of the South Florida possessions of network owners Raúl Gorrín and Gustavo Perdomo, including companies under which their properties are registered.
Gorrín and Perdomo, who along with Juan Domingo Cordero, also a Venezuelan, assumed control of Globovisión after it was sold in 2013, have caught the attention of U.S. officials.
“Do you know where they live?” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., recently asked Roberta Jacobson, assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, at a Senate hearing to approve sanctions against key leaders of the Venezuelan government.
“They live in Miami, where they own a mansion worth millions of dollars in Cocoplum,” Rubio said. “They drive luxury cars and they laugh at you and at us because they know they can do that with impunity.”
The Senate and the House of Representatives are working simultaneously on two bills to penalize corruption and human rights violations in Venezuela after the government of President Nicolás Maduro cracked down on opponents demonstrating against his regime.
The sale of Globovisión was a big blow to the Venezuelan people, for it shut down the last channel that challenged the government’s censorship of opposition media.
The news channel’s programming changed dramatically during the weeks after the sale, and prominent journalists resigned when the new owners tried to impose a gag rule.
The owners could not be reached for comment.
Gorrín, who is also the majority shareholder of the Venezuelan insurance company Seguros La Vitalicia, has made efforts to demonstrate in Venezuela that he supports the ideals of 21st century socialism, which advocates a less capitalistic and more equal society.
He once said on Globovisión that the “time has come for humanist entrepreneurs.”
“We have to go from Social Responsibility to real commitment … and our commitment is for life, like a marriage, for as long as we agree that the help should go to the needy,” he said.
His Miami lifestyle, however, is far different from the socialist rhetoric.
Gorrín and Perdomo own several properties in Cocoplum, one of South Florida’s most expensive areas, with two of them valued at more than $4 million each, according to the documents obtained by El Nuevo Herald.
One of the properties, the one used by Gorrín and his family when he visits, is located at 144 Isla Dorada Blvd. and is valued at almost $4.4 million.
The property, with five bedrooms and six baths, has access to the bay and a small berth to dock yachts.
Perdomo owns a house that’s 6,203 square feet, acquired in October 2011 for $3.5 million by Magus Holding II Corp, in which Perdomo is listed as director.
The company was registered a few days before the purchase of the property, which the online firm Zillow Real Estate values at about $4.48 million.
The documents show that the properties were registered as assets of companies that Perdomo, Gorrín or their relatives appear as executives or directors.
The entrepreneurs also drive luxurious vehicles, including a Mercedes SUV, an Audi Q7, a Ferrari and a Maserati Quatroporte. Some of the cars are valued between $100,000 and $200,000.
The owners and their families also use their time in South Florida to shop at exclusive stores, including the Gucci and the Carolina Herrera boutiques.
In December, sources said they spent tens of thousands of dollars in clothes and other items. In one of the most extravagant purchases, the Venezuelans ordered more than 20 bicycles for children that were given away at a party held in one of the Cocoplum homes.