In late April, the Venezuela opposition slammed attempts by the Maduro regime to liquidate some/all of the nation’s gold in order to buy his crumbling regime some additional time with much needed liquidity.
As we reported then, in a letter sent by National Assembly President and head of the Venezuela opposition to US banks, Julio Borges, the politician wrote that ‘the national government, through the central bank, is going to try to swap gold held as reserves for dollars to stay in power unconstitutionally. I have the obligation to warn you that by supporting such a gold swap you would be taking actions favoring a government that’s been recognized as dictatorial by the international community.’
Fast forward to this weekend, when the Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman Sachs had bought some $2.8 billion in bonds issued by state oil company PDVSA that mature in 2022, paying 31 cents on the dollar or around $865 million. The price represented a 31% discount to trading Venezuelan securities that mature the same year, and would result in a staggering annual yield of more than 40%.
The purchase came as Maduro’s detractors have been pleading with international financial institutions to avoid any transactions that might help a government accused of human-rights abuses. It also prompted Julio Borges to accuse bank Goldman Sachs of “aiding and abetting the country’s dictatorial regime.”
“Goldman Sachs’ financial lifeline to the regime will serve to strengthen the brutal repression unleashed against the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans peacefully protesting for political change in the country,” wrote Julio Borges in a letter to Goldman Sachs President Lloyd Blankfein.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 30, 2017.