Goldman Sachs Accused Of Tossing 'Financial Lifeline' To Venezuelan Dictator

Posted June 05, 2017

In a scathing letter to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Julio Borges called the deal an "outrage" that provides a "lifeline to [an] authoritarian regime that is systematically violating the human rights of Venezuelans".

"Goldman Sachs' purchase of these bonds gives fuel to Maduro's dictatorship", Sebastian Coloma, an organizer with SOS Venezuela, the group behind the protests in NY, told Fox News.

Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature voted later in the day to ask the U.S. Congress to investigate the sale.

The New York-based investment bank is reported to have bought the bonds at a heavily discounted rate. Goldman reportedly paid $865 million, or 31 cents on the dollar, for Pdvsa bonds worth $2.8 billion when they mature in 2022.

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

"You know when a company like Goldman Sachs provides money, it's not going to be for that, it's going to be to buy bullets, to buy tear gas and to keep killing people", says Beke, wiping away tears.

Goldman Sachs has pointed out that the bonds it has purchased were bought on a secondary market and not from the government.

Goldman Sachs confirmed the purchase on Tuesday.

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The central bank in Venezuela did not sell the bonds directly to Goldman as the bonds were sold by an intermediary, said an industry source.

Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro participate in a concentration outside of Miraflores Presidential Palace to support a process to rewrite the nation's constitution, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela's opposition-run Congress, said that Goldman is "aiding and abetting the country's dictatorial regime", which is now engaged in a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters across the country, Reuters reported.

Another opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, alleged that he and his entourage were "ambushed" and beaten by the Venezuelan National Guard at a protest in the capital, Caracas. Almost 60 people have died in clashes with police.

At least 22 member countries of the Organization of American States are expected to meet Wednesday in Washington to discuss the crisis in Venezuela.

"We express our deepest support and solidarity with the revolutionary people of Venezuela, with its legitimate government and with President Nicolas Maduro, and we are alert and ready to carry out denunciations and solidarity at the global level in defence of the sister Republic of Venezuela and her revolution", the statement concluded.

"We recognize that the situation is complex and evolving and that Venezuela is in crisis". The country's current financial situation is due to low oil prices and the effects of years of economic mismanagement.

Venezuelans supporting the Maduro government marched Wednesday in Caracas under the banner of rejecting worldwide 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.