About us

Cedel International Investment LLC (“Cedel”), led by financier Mr. Eligio Cedeño, is engaged in a wide variety of business investments in North America, Canada, Central and South America. Established in 2009, Cedel is based in Miami, Florida. Mr. Cedeño, CEO of CedelLLC, is a national of Venezuela who arrived to the United States in December 2009. In 2011, the United States citing the Chavez Regime’s unlawful persecutionof and politically motivated detention of Mr. Cedeño granted him political asylum.

Cedel shares its roots in Venezuela. In 1994, during one of Venezuela’s worst financial crisis, Eligio Cedeño founded Cedel Brokerage House to provide advisory services to private investors and corporations during the economic crisis. Under his leadership, Cedel Brokerage House and its clients thrived. Within fifteen years, Cedel Brokerage House was recognized as one of Venezuela’s leading brokerage firms. Mr. Cedeño leveraged Cedel Brokerage House’s success to acquire ownership shares in Caracas Bank and Canarias Bank, and become the sole owner of Bolivar Bank (Bolivar Banco) and BanPro Bank. Once again utilizing his business acumen, Mr. Cedeño converted these banks into high-growth, profitable businesses. Mr. Cedeño brings this record of business success and experience to serve as the foundation for Cedel and its investment clients.

Mr. Eligio Cedeño was a very successful banker in Venezuela, rising from the ranks as an unpaid intern at Citibank Venezuela to owner of two successful Venezuelan banks and a brokerage house. Mr. Cedeño fled from persecution in his native Venezuela in December 2009 and was granted political asylum by the United States government in May 2011.

Mr. Cedeño’s political asylum status is based, amongst other things, in his support for Venezuelan opposition during President Chavez’ Administration. Taking advantage of his banking success, and inspired by his strong support of the freedom of speech, Mr. Cedeño was a significant financier of the Venezuelan national workers union as well as national opposition television networks and journalists – activities considered by the Chavez Regime as a threat to its government control. As a consequence, he was falsely accused of financial improprieties and unlawfully detained by Venezuela’s intelligence police, under direct orders from President Chavez. Mr. Cedeño was unjustly detained for nearly three years without a public trial or any judicial decision on his innocence. His case became one of the most prominent political prisoner cases in Venezuela.

In 2009, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention investigated Mr. Cedeño’s case and issued a finding that his detention was illegal and in contravention of Venezuelan law. In addition to his unlawful detention, the Venezuelan government forced Mr. Cedeño to relinquish ownership of the two banks he owned at that time to government supporters and denied him medical treatment on multiple occasions despite judge’s ordering medical treatment.

On December 9, 2009, Venezuelan Judge Lourdes Afiuni, citing the UN finding regarding his unlawful detention, granted Mr. Cedeño conditional release pending trial. Within hours of issuing her decision, the Venezuelan intelligence police took Judge Afiuni into custody. The next day, President Chavez condemned Judge Afiuni on national television and ordered her to be detained for 30 years. Upon hearing about the judge’s arrest, Mr. Cedeño hid in Venezuela before securing a way to flee to Aruba. Judge Afiuni has since remained in custody without trial for more than three years. Judge Afiuni’s detention has been determined by the UN to be arbitrary and in violation of the law. The Judge’s case has been cited in the U.S. Department of State Report on Human Rights in Venezuela as an example of the country’s practice of arbitrary detention and psychological torture. Her case has been cited by numerous human rights organizations as a typical case of political persecution and government intimidation of an independent judiciary.

Mr. Cedeño had to go into hiding following the arrest of Judge Afiuni for several weeks while Venezuelan authorities searched for him. Mr. Cedeño was able to make his way via land to the coast of Venezuela, where he was able to take a small boat to Curacao. In December 2009, Mr. Cedeño arrived to the United States where he immediately claimed political asylum. This marked the first time Mr. Cedeño was reunited with his children and family outside of detention in almost three years. In May 2011, a federal judge granted Mr. Cedeño political asylum marking the end of his odyssey.

Since arriving to the United States, Mr. Cedeño has advocated for the release of Judge Afiuni and other Venezuelan political prisoners who are unjustly detained. He addressed the United Nations in Geneva on Venezuela’s record of human rights abuses. In November 2012, in a separate claim filed by Mr. Cedeño against the Chavez Regime, the United Nations ruled that Venezuela violated Mr. Cedeño’s due process rights when he was detained under questionable criminal charges. The United Nations ordered Venezuela to provide restitution to Mr. Cedeño and to provide guarantees for Mr. Cedeño’s due process. In addition, Mr. Cedeño’s firm belief in free speech and his personal understanding of the need for an independent and free press has guided his interest in investing in the media and television broadcast sectors.