Venezuelan government bond sale sparks condemnation from opposition

Oil pumpjacks also known as nodding donkeys operate at a state-owned Cupet SA facility along the northern coast of Cuba on Tuesday
Noah Friedman-Rudovsky Bloomberg via Getty Images
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06 June, 2017

Goldman paid 31 cents on the dollar for the bonds, which mature in October 2022, Borges' letter said.

"Given the unconstitutional nature of Nicolas Maduro's administration, its unwillingness to hold democratic elections and its systematic violation of human rights, I am dismayed that Goldman Sachs made a decision to enter this transaction with the Maduro regime", Borges wrote in a letter earlier this week.

"Moreover, the fire sale nature of this transaction is clear evidence the Maduro regime did not have Venezuela's best interest in mind when conducting this operation", Borges wrote. The government has the power to order the banks to turn over their securities to the central bank in exchange for bolivar-denominated notes, a currency considered all but worthless. It doesn't own any Venezuelan government debt.

He has also drawn worldwide condemnation for abuses of power and human rights violations.

One - submitted by the United States, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Canada - asks the OAS to discourage the Maduro administration from convening the constituent assembly as now devised.

The failure came despite the urgent pleas from some nations represented at the extraordinary meeting in Washington, where foreign ministers broadly shared one hope: that Venezuela, which has vowed to leave the regional group in protest of its potential intervention, would reconsider. "This good business deal of Goldman Sachs is at our expense", said Diana Carvallo, a 65-year-old artist who splits her time between NY and Caracas.

Opposition led National Assembly leader accused Goldman Sachs of supporting the "dictatorship" of President Maduro.

Beke's family tragedy is a part of Venezuela's spiraling humanitarian crisis.

Fifty-nine people have died in the often violent street melees, which Maduro calls an effort to overthrow his government.

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Meanwhile in Caracas, anti-government protesters and security forces clashed.

He said 16 others were injured in the march, adding that he would file a complaint about the issue with state prosecutors.

It is has been officially declared to be a dictatorship by The Organization of American States. But Maduro can still count on substantial support, among them the president of his so-called people's" constituent "assembly Elias Jaua: "For all of those who always doubt him, for those who are shocked by political audacity, today we can say Nicolas was right to call the Constituent Assembly, which is to say, to call on the power of the people".

"We have to call things by their name, and what we have here is a country that, in fact, has ceased to be a functional democracy and this is a tremendously risky thing for the region", Videgaray said at the Americas Conference Series in Miami, Florida.

The electoral authorities have called on candidates to sign up online to seek election to the 545-member assembly, which will be tasked with writing a new constitution.

Venezuelans supporting the Maduro government marched Wednesday in Caracas under the banner of rejecting global intervention and sending a message to the representatives meeting in Washington that - as socialist politician Elias Jaua put it - Venezuela's sovereignty must be respected.

Nearly 60 people have died in protest-related violence since 1 April. Some soldiers and police officers have faced charges for killings during the protests and civilians have faced military tribunals.

That draft resolution lists other reforms, including urging the suspension of Venezuelan military courts' prosecution of civilians.

Top diplomats from across the Western Hemisphere fell short Wednesday in their bid to reach agreement about how to address Venezuela's deteriorating democratic crisis, with some countries insisting that foreigners had no right to intervene in Venezuela's internal affairs.


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