Diplomats struggle to reach consensus on Venezuela crisis


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela opposition leaders are decrying Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s purchase of bonds from the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, who has been targeted by nearly two months of protests.

Maduro's adversaries have for two months been blocking highways and setting up barricades in protests demanding he call early elections and address an increasingly severe economic crisis that has left millions struggling to get enough to eat.

"Goldman Sachs' financial lifeline to the regime", Borges wrote in a letter to Lloyd Blankfein, "will serve to strengthen the brutal repression unleashed against the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans peacefully protesting for political change in the country". "I also intend to recommend to any future democratic government of Venezuela not to recognize or pay on these bonds".

With crude prices remaining largely stagnant, and PDVSA royalties accounting for a majority of Venezuela's income, the US$2.8 billion dollar bond deal that the opposition is opposing is a much needed economic boost for the country experiencing an ongoing recession.

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.

The bonds were issued by Venezuela's nationalised oil company, PDVSA.

USA officials also said Venezuela's government may not be able to depend much longer on deals like the one with Goldman Sachs.

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Global revenues for the Venezuelan government rose by around US$749 million on Thursday and Friday, according to Reuters.

Beke's mother, who died from cancer past year, could not get the chemo therapy treatments she needed to fight her illness because of the severe medical shortages in Venezuela.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that anti-Maduro forces might resent a bank stepping in to prop up the market for Venezuelan bonds at such a moment.

The OAS meeting at the group's headquarters in Washington, however, was suspended because members could not agree on how to handle the Venezuelan crisis - a development that Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez celebrated as a victory.

Protesters have flooded the streets of Venezuela for months - including on Wednesday - demanding new elections and faulting Maduro's leadership for the country's triple-digit inflation, surging crime rates, and dire shortages of food and medicine. A copy of that statement on the firm's website said its respect for human rights is "fundamental to and informs our business", and that the firm places a "high priority" on identifying potential issues when deciding whether to do business with a client. "We don't want to make a quick buck and take on reputational risk", said Michel Del Buono, managing director at Makena Capital Management, which makes investments on behalf of endowments and has forgone Venezuelan debt.

In response to a question from journalist and political analyst Carlos Alberto Montaner, he stressed that Mexico would not endorse an intervention in Venezuela.

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