Venezuela's opposition accuses Goldman Sachs of aiding Maduro 'dictatorship' via bond sale
The President of Venezuela's National Assembly has written a letter to the CEO of Goldman Sachs accusing the company of providing "a financial lifeline" to the government of Nicolas Maduro by reportedly buying $2.8bn worth of bonds.
In the letter addressed to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Julio Borges accuses Goldman Sachs of making "a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people".
"Goldman Sachs' financial lifeline to the regime will serve to strengthen the brutal repression unleashed against the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans peacefully protesting for political change in the country." Borges wrote.
The letter comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman Sachs had bought $2.8bn of bonds from Venezuela's central bank while Maduro's government struggles to raise further cash.
The report said multiple sources confirmed the purchase of bonds, which mature in 2022 for 31 cents on the dollar; another source inside Goldman Sachs told Reuters that the bonds were purchased through intermediaries in Europe.
Borges said he was "dismayed" by Goldman's alleged decision to buy the bonds, saying it violated the company's own statement on human rights. He also said that the National Assembly would be launching an investigation into the sale and that he would recommend future government to not recognize or pay the bonds.
"Please be assured that Venezuela's National Assembly will forcefully call to the attention of the international community your decision to aid and abet Venezuela's authoritarian regime."
Borges wrote: "Importantly, the people of Venezuela and its future democratic government will not forget where Goldman Sachs stood when it had to choose between supporting the Maduro dictatorship and democracy for our country."