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Diplomats struggle to reach consensus on Venezuela crisis

06 June 2017

Protests calling for early elections have been raging for months in Venezuela amid a severe economic crisis and presidential attempts to consolidate power in the face of increasingly strong opposition.

Goldman confirmed the purchase Tuesday morning after the Wall Street Journal first reported it.

Activists protest against Goldman Sach's purchase of $2.8 billion worth of Venezuela bonds outside Goldman Sachs' New York headquarters on Tuesday. The government received a loan of around $300 million from the New York-based hedge fund and pledged Venezuelan bonds as collateral, said a person familiar with the deal.

He accused the Wall Street institution of extending a "financial lifeline" to Maduro and making a "quick buck" from the suffering of the Venezuelan people. "We agree that life there has to get better, and we made the investment in part because we believe it will", the investment bank added. The government must understand that it should listen to the Venezuelan people, ' Capriles said and called on the opposition to rally in front of the Interior Relations Ministry, but past midday no one from the opposition groups had shown up.

"Tonight, millions of venezuelans will go to bed hungry and without the possibility of obtaining the medicines that they need, or exhausted and bloody following their legitimate peaceful protests for democracy and the right to vote, as victims of a brutal regime that Goldman Sachs made a decision to support", he continued.

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.

He challenged the parliament to help "find a peaceful solution to this crisis" and said he would ask its leaders to consider imposing sanctions against select Venezuelan officials, as the United States has done.

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Two months of protests against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government have convulsed the South American OPEC nation, with around 60 people killed in the unrest.

Around two dozen picketed the bank's offices in NY, accusing it of propping up Nicolas Maduro through its alleged purchase of government bonds.

While some member countries of the Organization of American States met on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Venezuela in Washington, authorities in Caracas continued using tear gas canisters and water cannons to disrupt a massive protest against President Nicolas Maduro. "I also intend to recommend to any future democratic government of Venezuela not to recognize or pay on these bonds".

Goldman didn't comment on Borges' letter.

With global pressure mounting on Maduro, foreign ministers from the 34-nation OAS bloc met in Washington to debate the situation in Venezuela. Allies, which include fellow leftist nations and small Caribbean islands that receive cheap Venezuelan oil, defended Maduro during the OAS session, saying foreign powers were meddling in Venezuela's internal affairs.

". full-court press on the issue - the latest leg seems to be looking for Dinosaur Securities' Javier Perez-Santalla, who is thought to be the intermediary between the Venezuela Central Bank and Goldman, and wondering just how much the spread was on this transaction".

Diplomats struggle to reach consensus on Venezuela crisis