OAS debates crisis in Venezuela


The president of Venezuela's opposition-led Congress blasted Goldman for financing "dictatorship" under President Nicholas Maduro after Goldman bought $2.8 billion in bonds issued by state oil company PDVSA at a steep discount.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Goldman Sachs purchased bonds issued by the state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela or Pdvsa, the crippled oil producer.

The investment has caused a political uproar in Venezuela, where opposition forces have taken to the streets to protest the autocratic rule of the nation's unpopular president, Nicolás Maduro.

In a public letter to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, National Assembly (AN) President Julio Borges threatened the top-tier financial firm with non-payment.

Opposition leaders in Venezuela have strongly criticised the investment bank Goldman Sachs for buying $2.8bn (£2.1bn) of government bonds. "I also intend to recommend to any future democratic government of Venezuela not to recognize or pay on these bonds", Borges wrote.

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

Through its asset management arm, GSAM, Goldman Sachs paid approximately $865m for $2.8bn worth of PDVSA bonds issued in 2014. It does in fact make a certain sort of sense as the Venezuelan government is currently scrambling around for cash, just any cash and cash right now. (Goldman would only identify the intermediary as "European.") Also, the bank insisted, it bought the bonds for a third of their value to help the Venezuelan people!

Goldman Sachs' did not respond to Fox News' request for comment about the bond deal.

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The Organization of American States (OAS) halted indefinitely Venezuela crisis talks on Wednesday after failing to agree a way forward, the Guatemalan foreign minister said.

Tajani spoke about the "brutal reprisal" of the manifestations by the authorities in Venezuela, called the situation "disastrous" and said that "every day a person is dying in the street".

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro shows a copy of a country's constitution during an official ceremony of a Campaign Command to support reforms to the constitution in Caracas, Venezuela May 29, 2017.

It affirmed that the government of the South American nation can not use growing aggression as a justification for denying unrestricted guarantees of the human rights of all people.

"But none of those firms carry Goldman's reputation for being politically influential and financially opportunistic - a combination that has made it an easy global punching bag", the Times explained. "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.

Venezuela's crisis is man-made; a socialist regime introduced awful economic policies and took away human rights.

Maduro's government has denied a humanitarian crisis exists. Other indexes managed by Citi, Barclays, Morningstar and Bank of America have Venezuelan bonds in their indexes. The country is in a steep recession, with widespread shortages of food and medicine and skyrocketing inflation.