The pro-democracy opposition in Venezuela is still reeling from the betrayal by Wall Street’s Goldman Sach’s when they threw Cuba’s puppet dictatorship in Venezuela a lifeline by purchasing $2.8 billion in government bonds. Goldman Sach’s decision to send billions to the brutally repressive regime not only helped keep them afloat, it is in effect funding murderous repression.
Unfortunately, the Cuban people both on the island and in exile are all too familiar with the betrayal Venezuelans are experiencing now. For nearly six decades, we have seen how in their never-ending quest for a quick and easy buck, the capitalists of Wall Street and other financial centers throughout the world have been all too eager to fund dictatorships and communist repression.
But as bad as funding communist repression is, the ones who put that repression up for sale are worse.
Goldman is Bad. The Government is Much Worse
Everything you’re hearing about Goldman Sachs is true. Yes, they are amoral. Yes, they don’t hesitate to profit from suffering. And yes, they’ll keep doing so as long as there are desperate governments willing to bend the knee for cash. Venezuelans are right to be outraged, but the anger is somewhat misplaced.
Is Goldman at fault? Of course it is. They found in Maduro a cash-starved victim willing to cut them an obscene deal —$2.8 billion in PDVSA 2022 bonds for just 31 cents on the dollar— and they jumped on it. They deserve to be shamed for buying “Hunger Bonds” and giving Venezuela’s government fresh cash. Folks that claim this transaction was “on the secondary market” are misleading you with irrelevant technicalities. For all intents and purposes, this was a plain vanilla primary-market issue of new debt, at 47% interest in dollars mind you.
But if Goldman hadn’t closed the deal, some other Wall Street firm would have. It was too good for any vulture to pass up. What’s really at issue with this deal is that Venezuela’s Dictatorship once again put Wall Street above Venezuelans to raise money for a few months of debt service, imports, kickbacks or financing for the Asamblea Nacional Constituyente.
MUD should focus on reaching out grassroots chavistas and hammering home a message they can vibe with: That the Revolution sold its soul to Wall Street. That the folks who call themselves the “sons and daughters” of Chávez are filling Wall Street’s pockets by impoverishing ordinary Venezuelans. That Maduro sold of Venezuelan asset to big time capitalists, and that he did so cheaply.
“La Revolución se vendió a Wall Street”.
That’s a mantra right there. Put it in haiku, write songs about it, make memes about it, but direct the blame where it most belongs: the government. Aporrea, of all places, already took steps in that direction.
As part of this story, the MUD should continue to ask for probes and investigations in Venezuela and the US. Even as the National Assembly is powerless, it can still take symbolic action. Under the current legal framework, the National Assembly can’t remove the Central Bank president or Directors. Maduro reserved that power for just himself through an Enabling Law. But, at this point, who cares?
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