Goldman Sachs May Not Get $2.8 Billion Bond Payment From Venezuelan Government


The company paid 31 cents on the dollar for bonds issued by Venezuelan state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, oil company, the outlet reported. The country is in the middle of a humanitarian and economic crisis, and critics have described the purchase as a show of support for President Nicolás Maduro. It is unclear whom Venezuela sold the bonds to or how many investors held them before reaching Goldman. Venezuela's worldwide reserves rose by $749 million on Thursday and Friday, reaching around $10.86 billion, according to the central bank.

"It is apparent Goldman Sachs decided to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people", Borges said in a letter sent to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

The letter added that the Venezuelan Congress will be opening an investigation into the Goldman transaction and he will make a recommendation to any future government that is democratically elected not to recognize or to pay the bonds.

Nicaragua, a staunch ally of Venezuela, opposed the crisis meeting altogether, arguing Venezuela was the victim of a "political lynching". In more than 60 days of unrest, at least 60 people have died in violence related to protests against President Nicolas Maduro.

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.

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

Lugo, a member of the opposition group SOS Venezuela protest organizer, told AFP the purchase would "support the systematic violation of human rights".

Almost 30 protesters, including Esther Beke - a visiting instructor at Pratt Institute - stood outside of Goldman Sachs with signs that showcased their displeasure with the bank and President Maduro, Tuesday.

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That's not to say that Goldman's investment is without a risk.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc has bought $2.8 billion worth of bonds issued by PDVSA.

Goldman's position is somewhat puzzling as this particular bond will mature in five years, an unusually long exposure for typical emerging market money managers.

Goldman Sachs, infamous investment bank and symbol of worldwide predatory capitalism, has made a devil's bargain with Nicolás Maduro, the infamous left-wing dictator of Venezuela who claims to despise companies just like Goldman.

PDVSA is a state-operated oil company in Venezuela.

A declaration criticising the Venezuelan government was put forward by countries including the United States and Mexico but was opposed by some of Venezuela's Caribbean allies.

Still, Borges said, the transaction helps Maduro.

Capriles also called on the people to hang the Venezuelan flag on the balconies and windows of their homes as a "protest and rescue of democracy".