Goldman Sachs attacked for "strengthening the brutal repression" in Venezuela

According to multiple media outlets, the deal included $2.8 billion in bonds - a purchase that, despite the reportedly steep discount the company offered, is a much-needed boon to an oil-rich government reeling partly from anemic oil prices worldwide.

"We recognize that the situation is complex and evolving and that Venezuela is in crisis", the bank said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

"They are effectively pushing geopolitics at the expense of people".

The comments mark one of the most aggressive critiques of the government of Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro to date from Videgaray, the former finance minister and close confidant of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

"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", Julio Borges, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, wrote in a letter to Goldman Sachs president Lloyd Blankfein. Many mutual funds and ETFs buy JP Morgan's index on behalf of millions of Americans with 401 (k)'s and other investments. We made the investment in part because we believe it will.”. Two senior Venezuelan government officials confirmed the deal but declined to give more details.

Lately, the opposition's ire has affixed to a new target, one outside Venezuela's borders: Goldman Sachs.

Still, opposition leaders say a future government could refuse to pay back any debt owed to the investment bank.

A sign is displayed in the reception of the Sydney offices of Goldman Sachs in Australia, May 18, 2016. Should they be doing it at this particular time? "It was a stupid trade from that point of view", he told "Closing Bell". Despite the ongoing threat of default, the country's dollar-denominated bonds have been unexpectedly good to foreign investors, with a current yield of 20%. The large holders of Pdvsa bonds are BlackRock, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, JPMorgan Chase and Ashmore.

Venezuelan political leaders were also furious with Goldman's purchase. The day the bond deal was completed, the Central Bank of Venezuela's global reserves jumped $442 million to $10.8 billion on Thursday, according to official figures.

In New York, about two dozen protesters chanting "Shame on you Goldman Sachs" picketed outside of Goldman's headquarters in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon. "We can't allow their personal interests to take over and ignore the violations of human rights in Venezuela".

Another protest was planned for Miami, home to a large community of Venezuelans who have fled the country's economy crisis, on Thursday.

Venezuela's government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, is desperately in need of financial support.

Goldman Sachs was the seventh-largest holder of PDVSA bonds as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Protestors gathered outside the investment bank's NY headquarters on Tuesday in reaction to the transaction.

  • Leroy Wright