Apparently, Hugo Chavez is a landlord's nightmare. The controversial Venezuelan prez recently announced that he was closing his country's consulate in Miami for good. Problem is, the consulate had just agreed to a ten-year lease for its Brickell office and hasn't even bothered to pay rent for the last two months. Now Venezuela is facing a lawsuit from mega-developer Tibor Hollo.
Back in early January the State Department announced that it was booting Livia Acosta Noguera, Venezuela's consul general in Miami, after Univision report alleged she had asked a Mexican hacker for access codes to American nuclear facilities.
Despite the fact that South Florida has the largest Venezuelan populations in America, Chavez responded by deciding to just shut down the entire consulate.
His Miami landlords aren't too happy.
The consulate once occupied 7,940 square feet on the third floor at 1101 Brickell according to Miami Today. They paid about $20 per square foot in rent, and had just recently signed a new ten-year lease. After the diplomatic spat however, Venezuela just up and left the building. They haven't paid rent for January or February.
"They haven't paid rent. We plan on suing them," Hollo, chairman and president of Florida East Coast Realty, tells Miami Today. "They left the office with everything in it -- the furniture is still all there."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.