Goldman Sachs has shamelessly decided to extend a lifeline to Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro‘s dictatorial regime, in a move that has revealed the Wall Street firm’s willingness to set principles aside for profit.
Venezuelan National Assembly President Julio Borges sent the white shoe investment firm a thundering letter, denouncing the decision as “an attempt to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people.” Noting that the protests have already seen 57 deaths, 13,000 injuries, and 2,000 illegal arrests, Borges takes aim at the firm for espousing lofty ideals in its official corporate policies, while hypocritically turning a blind eye to the myriad abuses of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Venezuela when it suits them.
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Noting that the company’s own so-called Statement on Human Rights calls for “a high priority on the identification of potential human rights issues in the due diligence that precedes our business transactions” Borges charges that “a mere cursory look at the hundreds of media reports about human rights abuses in Venezuela…should have clearly informed Goldman Sachs’ leadership about the dictatorial nature of Venezuela’s regime.”
Adding insult to injury is the fact that the “deal” put together by Maduro and his thoroughly unorthodox and inept economic advisers, is highway robbery for the Venezuelan public finances, which are currently in the most dire of straights, but a major windfall for the wealthy Wall Street firm.
Maduro is essentially taking short-term financial gains now, at the expense of massive future losses. The plan specifically involves the sale of $2.8 billion dollars worth of bonds in the Venezuelan state oil company, the PDVSA, at a heavily discounted price of 31%.
Borges alleges that the funds in question will be used to provide weapons to prop up Maduro’s authoritarian regime, and closes with an ominous warning: “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.”