For what Russ Dallen of Latinvest, a Venezuelan bond specialist, calls a “one-dimensional economy”, this would be disastrous. “Venezuela is a trading nation, dependent on one commodity and vulnerable to seizure of its assets,” he says. Nos van embargar, como dijimos, hasta la cédula. “They would have a problem and they know it.” So while Caracas has been happy for years to seize the assets of local and multinational companies, scaring away almost all foreign investment and piling up judgments against it in international courts, it has been meticulous in making bond payments on time. Asustan a los ricos y engañan a los pobres. By shipping gold to Switzerland in January, in the process having it recertified as being of reserve quality, Caracas showed bondholders that it had the means to pay. It also placed the gold on neutral territory where it would be accessible. Chávez se trajo el oro, y gastamos un billete, ahora hay que llevárselo nuevamente para certificarlo. Que brutalidad tan bruta. Default seems inevitable, if not on february then later this year.