Goldman under fire for buying Venezuela 'hunger bonds'

A truck burns behind a man perched near a traffic barrier in Caracas Venezuela on Saturday. In more than 60 days of unrest at least 60 people have died in violence related to protests against President Nicolas Maduro
Goldman under fire for buying Venezuela 'hunger bonds'
Author

02 June, 2017

It's been more than 60 days since Venezuela's Supreme Court moved to dissolve the country's National Assembly.

Venezuela's government is short of cash, despite the fact that the country sits atop the world's largest oil reserves. On May 24, Maduro released plans to redraft the Venezuelan constitution and to delay regular elections until the end of the year, leading to even more protest in Caracas. And the death toll has mounted. Almost 60 people have died in clashes with police.

One person is thought to have died and as many as 250 others injured.

Some Venezuelan opposition politicians have accused Goldman Sachs of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime.

Goldman Sachs is being heavily criticized for giving Venezuela's government close to a billion dollars.

Staying on top of Venezuela's debt will nearly certainly be the ruling party's priority, she said, though the influx of hard currency into the central bank could also fund imports and ease pressure on the state oil company, which has struggled to maintain production.

Goldman Sachs said: "We invested in Pdvsa bonds because, like many in the asset management industry, we believe the situation in the country must improve over time. 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 demonstrators had been trying to make their way to a government office in the centre of Caracas, but were blocked by hundreds of soldiers in riot gear and armored cars.

Tajani was joined by Julio Borges, president of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly.

Carrying signs reading "Goldman Sachs deals in Blood Money" and chanting "Hunger bonds Goldman Sachs, We will not pay them back", protestors gathered outside the investment bank's headquarters in New York City for the second day in a row to voice their anger over the bank's purchase of billions of dollars' worth of Venezuelan bonds.

According to The Journal, a senior finance official in Venezuela confirmed that the transaction had taken place, but declined to share details. Nor is it sufficient to quell street protests.

For its part, Goldman insists that its investment in the state-owned oil company of a government that's plunged its people into political turmoil and economic devastation is extremely ethical.

One of them tried to take off Robayo's gas mask and arrest him only to be told to stop by a superior, the photographer said.

Opposition leaders say security forces have been particularly aggressive in recent days. Capriles also alleges he and his supporters were beaten by members of the National Guard during that demonstration.

And while President Nicolás Maduro says he is interested in dialogue, he continues to accuse the opposition of being illegitimate and obsessed with mounting a coup. The opposition government has threatened that a successor government could forgo paying the debt.

Meanwhile, diplomats from Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and other nations rejected the meeting as an intervention in the internal affairs of the South American country.


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