Goldman under fire for buying Venezuela "hunger bonds"

Goldman Sachs bought the bonds "on the secondary market from a broker and did not interact with the Venezuelan government", the bank said in a statement, adding: "We recognize that ..." They object to the Supreme Court's recent decision to suspend the powers of the National Assembly (controlled by the opposition), which they consider to be an undemocratic act that violates the Constitution. The bank said it did not buy the bonds directly from the Venezuelan government.

Goldman Sachs and Venezuela's Information Ministry both declined to comment on the charges, but Murphy clearly would want to avoid a controversy - such as evidence of Goldman Sachs financing dictatorship - as his multi-million dollar campaign heads into the final stretch.

Goldman Sachs did not say in its statement how much it paid for the bonds.

The bank has bought bonds with a face value of $2.8 billion in the beleaguered national oil company PDVSA.

"This good business deal of Goldman Sachs is at our expense", said Diana Carvallo, a 65-year-old artist who splits her time between NY and Caracas.

Maduro, the successor to late leader Hugo Chávez, says his foes are seeking a violent coup and has called for a Constitutional Assembly, which he says is the only path to peace.

Yesterday, Julio Borges, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, sent Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein a letter accusing the firm of trying to “make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people, ” according to a copy seen by Bloomberg.

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It affirmed that the government of the South American nation can not use growing aggression as a justification for denying unrestricted guarantees of the human rights of all people.

Meanwhile, other Venezuelan opposition leaders wounded in anti-government march, while Mexico's top diplomat said Venezuela is no longer a democracy.

As The Associated Press reports, at least 60 people have died in clashes between demonstrators and security forces, and at least 1,000 protesters have been jailed. Last month, Borges sent over a dozen letters to global banks requesting that they refuse to service transactions with the Venezuelan government.

With Venezuela's inefficient state-led economic model struggling under lower oil prices, Maduro's unpopular government has become ever more dependent on financial deals or asset sales to bring in coveted foreign exchange.

But Maduro himself thinks that the OAS is part of the problem and last month he announced that Venezuela would withdraw as early as 2019.

Although the opposition has claimed that the economic recession, which was triggered by stagnant oil prices and has resulted in shortages of certain imports, is largely the fault of the current Bolivarian government and uses it to justify the protests, this is not the first time they have attempted to block measures that would improve the economic situation in the country.

It said it "affirms that conflict resolution mechanisms will require all parties to fundamentally rethink the view they have of themselves and the other, in order to transform the now polarized debate into one about the people's common interests and objectives".


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