Barron’s: Venezuela Selling Gold, Goldman Selling Venezuela Bonds?

In his missive today, Venezuela critic Russ Dallen, a publisher, lawyer and Venezuela bond investor through Caracas Capital, offers some background on the political stagnation under Maduro. In short, the escalating violence and civil strife in the country means an impending “inflection point,” Dallen says:

” …the Maduro regime has been unable to raise significant foreign capital – aside from the loan from Rosneft (ROSN.Russia) against 49.9% of Petroleos de Venezuela’s U.S. refining operation Citgo (a story which we first help break on December 21) and the “morally repugnant” cash injection from Goldman Sachs last month. The Maduro regime’s refusal to co-exist and/or negotiate with an Opposition-dominated legislature (a task of functioning democracies all over the world) has led Maduro to unleash his own weapon of mass destruction – the hydrogen bomb of calling a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) …

The government is using this wafer-thin veneer of constitutional legality for two reasons … One is to bring along the military rank-and-file. While the upper echelons of the military are “all in” as they are making money with various schemes … The second reason for the legal lipservice is an attempt to give legal surety to potential investors (namely Russia, China & others interested in investing in oil, gold and mineral mining ventures) that were put off by the lack of National Assembly approval or a legally solid workaround. … the Supreme Court takes over the right to approve any new oil, gold or mineral investments since the National Assembly is in “contempt.” But Russia and other investors felt that ground was too shaky to invest billions of dollars, hence the regime’s National Constituent Assembly is designed to replace the obstinate National Assembly and pave that legal path for investment more solidly …”

http://www.barrons.com/articles/venezuela-goldman-selling-selling-gold-1498850055

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