Venezuela Opposition Blames Goldman Sachs for Aiding Dictatorship

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05 June, 2017

Even though Goldman did not respond to Borges's open letter, they did admit purchasing the bonds in 2014 in a secondary market and not directly from the Venezuelan government.

According to multiple media outlets, the deal included $2.8 billion in bonds - a purchase that, despite the reportedly steep discount the company offered, is a much-needed boon to an oil-rich government reeling partly from anemic oil prices worldwide.

Mexico, he said, hoped that the resolution to be issued by the OAS foreign ministers will "talk about the need for an electoral timetable, to restore fully the powers of the National Assembly, to stop the use of military tribunals to prosecute civilians, the release of political prisoners" among other issues. Three finance industry sources told Reuters on May 29 that the bonds were sold through an intermediary.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal revealed that the New York-based investment bank had paid U.S. $865 million for Venezuelan state oil company bonds maturing in 2022, amounting to around 31 cents on the dollar. Goldman reportedly paid $865 million, or 31 cents on the dollar, for Pdvsa bonds worth $2.8 billion when they mature in 2022.

Lately, the opposition's ire has affixed to a new target, one outside Venezuela's borders: Goldman Sachs.

“To the markets again: Buying hunger bonds, buying blood bonds is condemning and sentencing the people of Venezuela to starvation and to repression, ” he said in an interview.

Goldman Sachs confirmed the purchase on Tuesday.

Bonds issued by Venezuela's national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or Pdvsa, "have attracted some of world's most sophisticated investors", the New York Times explained.

Venezuela Opposition Blames Goldman Sachs for Aiding Dictatorship
Venezuela Opposition Blames Goldman Sachs for Aiding Dictatorship

Maduro, 54, accuses opponents of seeking his violent overthrow with USA support, similar to a short-lived 2002 coup against his popular predecessor Hugo Chavez.

The president of the opposition-led Congress accused the bank of propping up a dictatorship.

Other Venezuelan bonds also rallied, traders said.

Since April 1, Venezuela has been beset by near daily protests and violent clashes with government forces that have left 59 dead.

Nevertheless, the risk of default remains and in his letter to Blankfein, Borges said he would recommend any future democratic government of Venezuela not recognise or pay its dues on the bonds. But if a newly elected government reneges on its debt obligations, as Borges has threatened to do, the trade could go awry.

"We recognise that the situation is complex and evolving and that Venezuela is in crisis".

At least 22 member countries of the Organization of American States are expected to meet Wednesday in Washington to discuss the crisis in Venezuela. The country is in a steep recession, with widespread shortages of food and medicine and skyrocketing inflation. According the Bloomberg report, Botti was the one who originally described the Venezuelan bonds as "hunger bonds" in a tweet sent past year.

"The voice of moral authority imposed itself. they have been defeated", she said.

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