Goldman under fire for buying Venezuela 'hunger bonds'

The investment bank used the money to buy bonds in Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas company.

Venezuelan security forces used water cannons and teargas to disperse tens of thousands of opposition protesters heading toward the foreign ministry on Wednesday as the Organization of American States held another meeting on the crisis.

"We agree that life there has to get better, and we made the investment in part because we believe it will", Goldman Sachs said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

Venezuelan opposition leaders have accused the major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, of supporting a "dictatorial regime" for purchasing US$2.8 billion in bonds from the Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA, in spite of the fact that the purchase is a boost to the Venezuelan economy, Reuters reported.

"It is apparent Goldman Sachs chose to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people", Julio Borges, the leader of the opposition-controlled Congress, said in a letter to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Goldman Sachs's asset-management unit bought the securities, sold by Petroleos de Venezuela SA, through a broker and had no interaction with the government, the New York-based firm said in a statement.

Regardless, there's surely more that America could be doing to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. In more than 60 days of unrest, at least 60 people have died in violence related to protests against President Nicolas Maduro. The nation's dollar shortage, exacerbated by a collapse in oil prices, has left investors trying to gauge the likelihood that the government can keep servicing its debt.

Venezuelans supporting the Maduro government marched Wednesday in Caracas under the banner of rejecting worldwide 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. "We can't allow their personal interests to take over and ignore the violations of human rights in Venezuela".

"But none of those firms carry Goldman's reputation for being politically influential and financially opportunistic - a combination that has made it an easy global punching bag", the Times explained.

In addition, the letter stated that the Venezuelan Congress will investigate the transaction and that Borges will recommend that the Venezuelan government not recognize or pay the bonds.

President Maduro declared in late April that he was pulling the nation out of the OAS, a regional bloc, after its governing body voted in favor of calling an urgent meeting of foreign ministers to discuss deadly protests in Venezuela.

And now, a regime that came to power by promising to end Venezeula's dependence on imperialist, American institutions is looking for salvation in a deal with Goldman Sachs. But it's no mystery why a politician would rather aim his righteous protest at Goldman Sachs, vampire squid etc etc, than "Dinosaur Group".

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