Venezuelan Daily Brief

Published in association with The DVA Group and The Selinger Group, the Venezuelan Daily Brief provides bi-weekly summaries of key news items affecting bulk commodities and the general business environment in Venezuela.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 01, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello

  • 30,000 tons of yellow corn, from Argentina for state agency CASA
  • 1,070 head of cattle from Brazil for government nutrition programs
  • 3,500 metric tons of iron rods from Costa Rica, for government housing programs
(Bolipuertos,;; Ultimas Noticias,;; El Universal,; Notitarde,; Agencia Venezolana de Noticias;


Cargo that has arrived at Bolipuertos Maracaibo

  • 16,500 tons of plaster from Spain for Cementos Catatumbo
  • 8,000 tons of corn for PROTINAL
More in Spanish: (Bolipuertos,; El Universal,; El Mundo,



Oil & Energy


Táchira Governor claims 60 million liters of gasoline were prevented from being smuggled in Táchira

Táchira State Governor, Lieutenant José Gregorio Vielma Mora, claims that since the implementation of the Colombia-Venezuela border shutdown and the enforcement of a state of emergency decree in the border municipalities of Táchira state 35 days ago, 60,800,000 liters of gasoline have been prevented from being smuggled across the border. He explained that 7,293 liters of gasoline had been seized. Also 3,806,670 million bolivars (VEB) and 12,932 Colombian pesos have been seized. (El Universal,



Economy & Finance


Finance Minister promises to reveal official economic data, honor debt

During a meeting with investment bankers in New York, Venezuela's Vice President for Economic Affairs and Finance Minister, General Rodolfo Marco Torres, responded to complaints about the lack of reliable information by promising to publish official economic data held within the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank here. The meeting was organized by DEUTSCHE Bank, and attended by PIMCO, ALLIANCE, GSAM, FINTECH, JP MORGAN INV MGMT, DISCOVERY, FIDELITY, TCW, WELLINGTON, BLACKROCK, NWI and STONE HARBOR, according to General Marco. The official is reported to have told the group that government entities own about a quarter of the nation’s total debt stock, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. He declined to provide details on which bonds the government has been buying. He also said that the government, which has about US$ 5 billion in bond payments due in the last three months of this year and about US$ 10 billion due in 2016, is weighing liability-management proposals, said the people, who asked not to be named because the meeting was private. (Bloomberg,; and more in Spanish: Ultimas Noticias,; El Universal,; AVN;; El Mundo,; El Nacional;


Venezuela revises 2014 data to show economy shrank 4%

Venezuela's government has revised its economic data for 2014, showing that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined 4% in the worst performance around Latin America, according to a filing n the United States. The government has given no GDP data for 2015, to the anger of opponents and consternation of economists. In its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Maduro government said the OPEC nation's petroleum sector expanded 0.3% last year, whereas the non-petroleum sector decreased 3.8%. (Reuters,


Bolivar falls past 800 per dollar on black market

Venezuela’s bolivar passed the physiological barrier of 800 bolivars per dollar Tuesday in black market trading as Venezuelans rushed to protect savings amid rising inflation. That means that the country’s biggest currency note of 100 bolivars is now worth about 12 U.S. cents. The currency has declined 14.7% in the past month to 816 bolivars per dollar. The government maintains official rates of 6.3, 13.5 and about 200 bolivars per dollar for authorized purchases of items deemed essential. Venezuela’s inflation, estimated by some to be nearing 200%, is the fastest in the world as President Nicolas Maduro’s administration prints more currency to pay budget expenses as the falling price of oil reduces foreign currency income. The amount of bolivars in circulation passed 3 trillion for the first time on Sept. 19, up 97% in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (Bloomberg,; Veneconomy,


The contrarian Venezuela bond trade that's delivering 37% return

Want to make money in Venezuela’s bond market? Ignore the conventional wisdom. STONE HARBOR Investment Partners LP has done just that. The New York-based money manager has been buying up the country’s soon-to-mature notes as a bet the struggling oil-producing nation will scrounge up enough cash to continue making payments in the short-term. The move has paid off, with bonds maturing next month from Venezuela’s state-owned oil company returning 37% since the end of 2014. On average emerging-market bonds lost 0.5% this year. (Bloomberg,


AT&T may take $1.1 billion charge on DirecTV’s Venezuela assets

A change in exchange rates could wipe as much as US$ 1.1 billion off the value of AT&T's newly acquired DirecTV assets in Venezuela, the company said in an SEC filing. AT&T said in the filing it is evaluating whether to use a less preferential Venezuela currency exchange rate to value more than US$ 1.1 billion in DirecTV assets in that South American country. "If AT&T changes to the SIMADI exchange rate, it will have a negative impact on reported revenues, operating income and the fair value of our investment in the Venezuelan subsidiary," the company said in the SEC filing on Friday. (CNBC,



Politics and International Affairs


Maduro hints at possible violence in December 6th parliamentary vote in UN speech

During his address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Nicolás Maduro asked the international community to "be on the alert for any attempts at igniting violence against the political life" of Venezuela, in the upcoming parliament vote next December 6. "Venezuela is willing to pursue its path through participatory democracy, through a Constitution passed by our people in 1999, through the way of peace," Maduro added. (El Universal,; Veneconomy,


Colombia's Santos has suggested that Maduro set López free

During a CNN Español interview, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, revealed that he told his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro he felt  badly about the imprisonment of Leopoldo López and suggested the best thing would be to set him free. Santos said that despite ideological differences he has a "pragmatic" relationship with Venezuela on behalf of the Colombian people, but that when Maduro started to blame Colombia for "domestic reasons", "I said to him: Hold it there, your problems are made in Venezuela, not in Colombia." He said he offered to help Maduro but that the Venezuelan president did not receive advice. "He believes he is going to win the elections. We wish him the best because it is a difficult situation". Maduro had previously said that he and Santos, have together charted out “a route to resolve provocations, threats and attacks by paramilitary and drug-traffickers against Venezuela.” (Latin American Herald Tribune,; and more in Spanish: El Nacional;


Maduro's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez has blasted Inter American Human Rights Court, for "political and ideological partisanship" on the issue of Colombian border refugees. She said the Court is "vulgar and immoral...once again these bureaucrats, overstepping their duties and jurisdiction, are showing their anti-Venezuelan and anti-Bolivarian feelings". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Crashed Venezuelan Air Force aircraft was escorting FARC leader

Colombia's RCN Television revealed that a Venezuelan Air Force SUKHOI-30 that crashed on the border between the two nations was escorting the leader of the FARC guerrillas, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, alias “Timochenko“, en route to Cuba aboard a Beechcraft 1900 owned by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA. The PDVSA aircraft took off from a landing strip in Apure state, near the Colombian border, on a property owned by Guarico State Governor former Navy Captain Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, who was also on board with "Timochenko". The PDVSA aircraft and another escorting SUKHOI then flew to the Manuel Ríos Air Force Base in Guárico state. They initially thought the fallen jet has been downed by a missile. "Timochenko" travelled to Havana one week later to meet with the Colombian government peace delegation. More in Spanish: (Infolatam,


Border dispute with Guyana drags on

A recent deal between Venezuela and Guyana will not resolve the two countries' border issues. On Sept. 27, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guyanese President David Granger met in New York at a reunion hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. The two heads of state reached an agreement on Guyana's next ambassadorial nominee to Venezuela, Marilyn Cheryl Miles, who Caracas has refused to accept thus far in light of the Guyanese government's efforts to seek an International Court of Justice ruling that would award it territory to which Venezuela also lays claim. During the meeting, Maduro also expressed his desire to continue dialogue on the territorial issue in the hope of negotiating a resolution. Despite these seemingly positive steps, Venezuela and Guyana are unlikely to solve their border dispute in the coming months. The spat provides a useful platform for the Venezuelan government's domestic propaganda, and Guyana has no intention of changing its plans to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Therefore, further flare-ups in political rhetoric on the issue will be likely in the next few months, particularly ahead of Venezuela's crucial legislative elections in December. (Stratfor,


At U.N., Guyana blasts Venezuela over century-old border spat

Guyana used the United Nations as a forum to blast Venezuela, accusing it of "intimidation and aggression" related to a border dispute two days after the countries agreed to restore diplomatic ties. In his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Guyana's president David Granger accused his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, of cross-border bullying. "There has been a series of acts of aggression by presidents of Venezuela against my country," Granger said, citing actions dating from 1968 to "President Nicolas Maduro's decree of May 2015." The decree created a theoretical "defense" zone offshore that would, in Venezuela's eyes, leave Guyana with no direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. Granger said Venezuela, "mindful of its superior wealth and military strength and unmindful of its obligation as a member state of the United Nations ... has pursued a path of intimidation and aggression." (Reuters,


Maduro met bilaterally with Greece's Alexis Tsipras and Palestine's Mahmud Abbas during his visit to the UN in New York. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias,; AVN;



The following brief is a synthesis of the news as reported by a variety of media sources. As such, the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Duarte Vivas & Asociados and The Selinger Group.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 29, 2015

International Trade


62,300 tons of basic foods have been imported, government imports do not meet Q4 demand

According to Port Authority reports, the Venezuelan government has imported around 62,300 tons of food during August and September, but this does not cover consumer needs for the last quarter of 2015. BOLIPUERTOS reports over 2,100 containers laden with beef, chicken, milk, cooking oil, butter, margarine, coffee, rice, wheat, white and yellow corn, plus 16,000 heads of cattle have arrived from Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Nicaragua, Colombia and Brazil, Yet Nutrition Minister General Carlos Osorio has reported that 11,484 tons were distributed in 1,202 open market operations nationwide last Saturday, which means imports can only supply 5.4 of such operations. Aquiles Hopkins, Vice President of FEDEAGRO, says rice imports can only supply 16% of consumer needs in Q4 2015. He adds that 65,640 tons of wheat were imported, but 77,000 tons per month are required to meet market demand. In addition, Venezuela used to export coffee, domestic production is down to 30% and the product cannot be found in stores. As to beef imports, they cover only 4.2% of normal monthly consumption. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


348 tons of parts for vehicles for FORD Venezuela have arrived at Puerto Cabello


Health Ministry reports 150 containers of medical and surgical supplies from China and Cuba, have arrived at the port of La Guaira. A total 500 million units are expected through the end of the year, to supply the public health system. More in Spanish:  (Agencia Venezolana de Noticias;; El Nacional;



Oil & Energy


Kuwait downplays OPEC meeting suggested by Venezuela

Kuwait's oil minister Ali al-Omair rejected the idea of a meeting between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC nations, as requested by Venezuela. Since independent producers have no obligation to drop their output, any such meeting would make no sense, the minister said. "The problem is that there is no commitment by non-OPEC countries on what to offer to stabilize prices. It (Venezuela) has requested OPEC members to reduce the output while others keep on pumping and then we lose our market share," he elaborated. (El Universal,


VenEconomy: A train of opportunities that the Bolivarian revolution missed 

Without a doubt, the handling of oil affairs in Venezuela will go down in history as one of the most notorious failures of the revolution of the so-called "socialism of the 21st century." It’s not only that state-owned oil company PDVSA has become inefficient, since a new management could have made it efficient again. Much more important is that the development of the Orinoco Belt is no longer profitable, as neither is gas production overseas. Major projects that are history today. There are no excuses for having let slip away a golden era in terms of high oil revenues, without taking advantage of those resources to promote the development and progress of Venezuela, to promote research and technology, while ensuring good healthcare, education and housing systems for all Venezuelans. Much less when those resources were squandered in a desire to impose in the country and extend across the region a political project that has proven obsolete and unsuccessful at global level, and to enrich a few national and regional elites supporting the said project. (Latin American Herald Tribune,


A "Regional Confederation of Oil Goods and Services” was created in Bogota to share experiences that help boost the oil sector. It is made up of the Venezuelan Oil Chamber, the Argentinean Chamber of Suppliers of the Oil-Energy Industry (CAPIPE), the Colombian Chamber of Oil Goods and Services (CAMPETROL), and the Mexican Association of Oil Service Companies (AMESPAC). (Veneconomy,





Closure of the Colombian border complicates production of detergents and medicines, claimed Fedecámaras’ Chief Francisco Martínez, who added they were resisting “the best they can” over the declaration of state of emergency in several districts. He explained the products that passed through the border earlier must now be transported either by sea or by air which increases operation costs and times. (Veneconomy,



Economy & Finance


BARCLAYS: Venezuela economic crisis to only get worse

Venezuela is suffering the deepest economic crisis in its history with output expected to contract 9.1 percent this year, Barclays wrote in a note to clients. The economic contraction will likely reach 16.5% between 2014 and 2016, while inflation over that period will exceed 1,000%. “It is impossible to understand why the government is not reacting to this reality, why it has not taken measures to alleviate the economic distortions that are destroying the real income of Venezuelans,” Barclays said. President Nicolas Maduro will not likely announce any changes in economic policy before congressional elections Dec. 6, the bank said. With support for the ruling Socialist party at around 19%, the country is politically divided as it also battles low prices for oil, which accounts for 95% government export revenue. “A weak president who will have lost an election in the middle of a very strong economic crisis will not be able to take any fiscal measures,” Barclays said. “The probability of a political transition in Venezuela seems to be much higher than what the market has been pricing.” Instead of taking fiscal measures, the government is selling all its liquid assets to maintain an “extremely inefficient” exchange rate system and pay the external debt, Barclays said, adding that it would likely have enough money to pay its foreign debt at least through the first quarter of next year with a moderate increase in oil prices and further cut in imports. “All the main political actors appear to be thinking only of the near term, and there is no clarity about what they will do after the elections, leaving a very uncertain scenario for 2016,” the bank said. (Bloomberg,


CREDIT SUISSE: Venezuela - The biggest loser

"Venezuela’s dreadful macroeconomic conditions are unlikely to improve following the legislative elections on 6 December, in our view. Venezuela has the worst outlook for economic activity, the highest projected inflation and the largest fiscal deficit in our Emerging Markets coverage universe in 2015 and 2016. Specifically, we now expect real GDP to contract 5.9% this year and 4.0% in 2016. We have also revised our inflation forecasts significantly higher to roughly 180% by year-end 2015 and nearly 215% by the end of next year. We do not expect the government address these massive distortions in a meaningful way before or after the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, lower oil prices and the ongoing depletion of the public sector’s foreign assets suggest substantial risk of default over the next 12 to 24 months, according to our estimates." (CREDIT SUISSE: Click here to view document (9 pages, 663KB))


General Marco Torres reports he met with investment bankers in New York

General Rodolfo Marco Torres, Venezuela's Vice President for Economic Affairs and Minister of Finance reports he met with investment bank representatives in New York and repeated the nation's commitment to honor international debt. He adds they were invited to invest in Venezuela's oil sector. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias,; El Mundo,


Venezuela PDVSA's US$5 billion loan from China only to be available by year-end

A US$5 billion loan that Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA negotiated with China will be available by year-end, but the funds will go directly to contractors rather than into company coffers, a senior PDVSA source told Reuters. President Nicolas Maduro announced the loan during a trip to Beijing in September, saying the funds would be put toward boosting oil production. "The money will begin flowing at the end of this year," said the source, who asked not to be identified. "(It) will be paid directly to the companies that execute the projects." (Reuters,


Harvard’s Hausmann calls Chinese loans to Venezuela a ‘disgrace’

The billions of dollars China loans to Venezuela in exchange for oil are a “disgrace” and used for corrupt purposes that go undisclosed to the general public, says Harvard professor Ricardo Hausmann. Venezuela has tapped China for more than US$ 45 billion over the last decade and is increasingly reliant on the world’s second-biggest economy for cash because of its unwillingness to comply with the requirements of the International Monetary Fund, Hausmann wrote. Those loans have become more important than ever as the nation’s international reserves tumbled with oil prices to a near 12-year low. “The Chinese have not required that Venezuela do anything to increase the likelihood that it regains creditworthiness,” wrote Hausmann, a former Venezuelan planning minister. “They merely demand more oil as collateral. Whatever the IMF’s faults,” China Development Bank “is a disgrace.” (Bloomberg,


BANCTRUST reports companies and individuals rely on credit to face inflation here

A report by BancTrust indicates private companies and individuals are using bank credits to meet inflation costs. It shows the massive explosion in monetary liquidity and high inflation have strongly impacted credit in the financial sector, specially use of credit cards. Official data confirms an 148.2% increase in commercial credit in August 2015, as compared to August 2014. Credits in agriculture rose by 102.1% at the same time. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Venezuela's Ambassador to Cuba advocates economic adjustment in Venezuela

Alí Rodríguez Araque, a former Chávez Minister of Finance and Petroleum and Venezuela's current to Cuba, says it is necessary to adjust and reorient the domestic economy in view of the plunge in oil prices. The expert maintains that the shrinking revenues "are fairly above 30%," which imposes economic adjustment right now. "Now, we have to make an adjustment downwards," Araque said. He suggested a cut in public spending and setting priorities in order. Rodríguez argues that "such rearrangement" of the local economy "must be made and this begins with the public budget, which is the first component of income distribution in Venezuela." "I think that further adjustments are coming," he added. "Let's forget that Venezuela will have a strong momentum in the field of industry and other sectors," he insisted. "Since 1936, we have had an overvalued bolivar. All the currencies in the world devalued at that time." (El Universal,


Planning Vice President claims 2016 budget will meet social goals

Ricardo Martínez, Vice President for Planning, claims Venezuela's draft 2016 budget anticipates allocating the necessary resources to maintain social investment in education, health, housing, transportation, roads, sports and recreation. He says despite lower resources, the key "is greater efficiency and greater experience" More in Spanish: (AVN;; El Universal,; El Mundo,



Politics and International Affairs


Guyana and Venezuela restore ambassadors despite border row

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mediated a Sunday meeting in New York between Guyanese President David Granger and Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, who agreed to restore their respective ambassadors despite a continuing border dispute. After the meeting, Maduro said that Venezuela would restore its ambassador to Georgetown "immediately" and accept Guyana's nominee. He described his meeting with President Granger as "complex, tense, difficult". President Granger thanked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for mediating at the meeting, which he said "afforded both sides the opportunity to explain their individual positions". Granger denounced Venezuelan "aggressions" at the UN General Assembly, and asked the organization to reach a final solution to the border dispute: "We want to put an end to Venezuelan aggression. We want to develop our country, all of our country, under international law"..."We believe this process (good offices) has come to an end", but did not back off his announcement that Guyana will seek a solution with the International Court of Justice. Guyana Defense Force Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Phillips Guyana has 1,000 troops ready for deployment to border with Venezuela in case of aggression by Caracas amid the territorial dispute over Essequibo region and the Cuyuni River. (BBC News,; Reuters,; Latin American Herald Tribune,; Veneconomy,; El Universal,;; Latin American Herald Tribune,; and more in Spanish,


Venezuela to allow return of deported Colombians

Following a meeting between President Nicolas Maduro and UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper, Venezuela agreed to allow the deported Colombians back as long as they agreed to "legalize their status". Last week, Maduro and his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, met in the Ecuadorean capital Quito and agreed on a "normalization of ties". However, the border has remained closed and President Maduro says it will take months to "create a border of peace". Since Venezuela declared a state of emergency in three border states, an estimated 22,000 Colombians have left the area on top of the 1,700 who were expelled. (BBC News,; Reuters,; Latin American Herald Tribune,; El Universal,


IACHR denounces "humanitarian crisis" of Colombian deportees

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has denounced a "humanitarian crisis" hitting Colombian deportees and people who returned to Colombia from Venezuela. "The IACHR saw for itself the humanitarian crisis that is affecting the deportees and people who returned out of fear and because of the grave situation in which they found themselves in Venezuela," the IACHR said in a press release. "The IACHR received troubling reports about the way in which the deportations from Venezuela were carried out, suggesting that those individuals suffered multiple human rights violations and were subjected to collective expulsion," the IACHR reported. (El Universal,


Maduro calls for transformation of economic systems to spur development

President Nicolas Maduro has called for “a resounding transformation of economic systems” as a condition for the implementation of the United Nation’s new development agenda. He made his proposal in a speech to the UN General Assembly during the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit. (Latin American Herald Tribune,


UNASUR readies observers for parliamentary elections here on December 6th

Wilfredo Penco, Vice President of Uruguay's National Elections Council says the observers group being organized by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will have 4 representatives from each of the election authorities in the 12 member nations. He says they await the signing of agreements between representatives of Venezuela's National Elections Council and the UNASUR pro tem presidency, which is Uruguay. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Grenades used against police checkpoints, opposition demands explanations

There have been five attacks with grenades against police checkpoints or stations in the last 48 hours. The most recent ones occurred on Sunday; first, in Las Mercedes where eight Baruta policemen and four civilians were wounded and then one against a police station in San Juan de Los Morros in Guárico. There was also a shoot-out against a National Police’s (PNB) patrol car in Sucre in Miranda state. Opposition leader and Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles has demanded an explanation from the Maduro regime: "There were 5 similar attacks that show us that violence in Venezuela is growing and that national security has escaped the national government's control....We hope this is not part of a political plan to injure the December 6th elections. He added: "One has to ask the Defense Minister why there are grenades on the street. Grenades should be under the exclusive control of the Armed Forces. This gentleman must explain why grenades are in the hands of individuals. General Padrino must explain to Venezuelans." (Veneconomy,; and more in Spanish: El Nacional,



The following brief is a synthesis of the news as reported by a variety of media sources. As such, the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Duarte Vivas & Asociados and The Selinger Group.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 24, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello:

  • 3,000 head of cattle and 500 containers with basic products from Brazil - including 197 vans carrying beef, 60 with whole powdered milk, 44 with margarine, and 213 bearing chicken, all for state agency CASA.
  • 2,100 taxi cars from China for the Land Transport Ministry and state agency SUVINCA
  • 29, 000 tons of rice  for state agency CASA


30,000 tons of soy beans from Argentina for manufacturing cooking oil have arrived at Maracaibo's port, for state agency CASA.  (Bolipuertos,



Logistics & Transport


International departure tax for Venezuelans is now Bs.5,100 (34 Tax Units), up 900%, according to a resolution from the Vargas state Tax Administration Superintendent’s Office (SATVAR, in Spanish). (Veneconomy,


While in Latin America, air travel increased 2-12% last year, in Venezuela it dropped 8.5%, according to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). The IATA repeated its criticism of the measures taken by the Venezuelan regime which have hurt airlines and have made it impossible for Venezuelans to fly since the offer is scarce and the tickets are rather expensive. (Veneconomy,





P&G Venezuela announced it was increasing its current production capacity of dishwashing liquid four times fold, up 25% in detergent production. The production increase will begin in November, according to a company’s press release. (Veneconomy,



Economy & Finance



Goldman Sachs expects liquidity crunch to worsen in 2016

Under current expectations for oil prices, the liquidity crunch could worsen considerably in 2016 when we estimate a cash-flow deficit of US$ 18.4 billion. While we expect that additional contraction of domestic absorption could help to further reduce the current account deficit – from US$ 15.9 billion to US$ 13.2 billion – an inevitable reduction of extraordinary financing or the one-offs used this year would result in a noticeable increase in the external cash shortage. Policy inaction could further exacerbate the deterioration of domestic macroeconomic conditions. But at this moment, besides a forced devaluation of the preferential exchange rate in the post-electoral period, it is difficult to foresee a meaningful policy reaction to the more adverse economic backdrop. The fate of the credit would thus increasingly depend on additional financing from China and/or some type of liability management that postpones (or reduces) some short-term external debt payments. SEE ATTACHED REPORT.


Moody’s reports hyperinflation has begun here

Moody's agency has issued a report warning that Venezuela is undergoing "current inflation is a hyperinflationary event", adding that there is no official data on inflation through September 15th, but that unofficial projections indicate the current situation has resulted in a "serious crisis that can only be overcome through deep structural change". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Purchasing power has dropped 40% year to date

Henkel García, a director of the ECONOMETRIC think tank, says scarcity of food and basic products, plus high inflation have caused a drop of 40% in buying power in Venezuela year to date. More in Spanish:  (El Nacional;



Politics and International Affairs


Hounded by unpopularity, Maduro plays at war

Venezuela's ruler Nicolás Maduro speaks of peace but is decidedly on a war footing. Two days had not gone by after he pledged to lower tensions with Bogotá and he was already threatening to close down more border passes and calling out the specter of war with Guyana. The collapse of Venezuela's economy has left Maduro with only the drum of nationalism to revive the ashes of the now unpopular "bolivarian" revolution facing parliamentary elections in which the opposition carried a 30% lead. The crisis has been created by Maduro with two key goals: Distract public opinion and torpedo free exercise in border municipalities where he has declared a state of siege.  More in Spanish: (El Nuevo Herald:


Analyst claims border conflict has positive political connotations for regime

DATANALISIS President Luis Vicente León says it is convenient for the Venezuelan government to keep up the border crisis because it has "positive political connotations" for the regime. More in Spanish: (Noticiero Digital:


Guyana accuses Venezuela of 'aggressive behavior' near border area, is ready to mobilize troops

Guyana's President David Granger says Venezuela has launched an "extraordinary military deployment" in the east of the country, near a disputed border area. "We have noticed during the month of September an extraordinary escalation of Venezuelan military activity in eastern Venezuela," Granger said. "It is a persistence of aggressive behavior, hostile behavior towards Guyana," he said, adding the deployment was "mostly marine and various forms of ground forces." He did not provide further details. Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino had announced that the armed forces were conducting military exercises in both the east and west of the country. Chief of Guyana Defense Forces Mark Phillips says his country is ready to mobilize troops along the border with Venezuela, and reiterated allegations that significant and unusual military movements are taking place on the Venezuelan side. Phillips added that so far there has been no increase in the number of Guyanese troops deployed along the border with Venezuela, but it could happen in the event of any aggression against the territory of Guyana. (Reuters,; Latin American Herald Tribune,;; El Universal,


Foreign Ministers of Venezuela, Colombia start meetings here

Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodríguez and her Colombian counterpart María Ángela Holguín, began a meeting in the seat of the Venezuelan Foreign Office here, the first one of a number of meetings intended to get the border situation back to normal. Holguín attended with Colombia's ministers of Defense, Luis Carlos Villegas; Treasury and Finances, Mauricio Cárdenas; and Mines and Energy, Tomás González; the high military command; the president of the Colombian Petroleum Company, Juan Carlos Echeverry, and representatives of the National Administration of Taxes and Customs (DIAN). No announcements were made following the meeting. Prior to that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos reported that in the meeting held in Quito, he told  his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro that he "broke the rules of the game" by not calling him in advance when he decided to shut down the border and to "violate the rights" of Colombians. (El Universal,;


Colombia's Gaviria may bring suit against Maduro

César Gaviria, Colombia's former President and former Secretary General of the Organization of American States, is meeting with that country's other former Presidents, Andrés Pastrana and Álvaro Uribe to analyze the border situation with Venezuela, and is considering bringing suit against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in international courts. Gaviria will also denounce potential fraud in upcoming parliamentary elections here, as well as constant violation of human rights in this country. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


31 former heads of state call for observers in Venezuela's parliamentary elections

31 democratic former heads of state from Spain and Latin America have again come together to denounce damage to democratic freedoms in Venezuela and call for "impartial and technically qualified international oversight by the UN, the OAS and the European Union" in parliamentary elections here December 6th. The group's  statement is signed by Eduardo Duhalde and Fernando de la Rúa (Argentina); Fernando H. Cardoso (Brazil); Jorge Quiroga (Bolivia); Sebastián Piñera, Ricardo Lagos and Eduardo Frei (Chile); Andrés Pastrana, Álvaro Uribe, Belisario Betancur and César Gaviria (Colombia); Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Rafael Ángel Calderón, Laura Chinchilla, Óscar Arias and Luis Alberto Monge (Costa Rica); Osvaldo Hurtado and Lucio Gutiérrez (Ecuador); Alfredo Cristiani and Armando Calderón Sol (El Salvador); Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox (México); Mireya Moscoso, Nicolás Ardito-Barletta and Ricardo Martinelli (Panamá); Juan Carlos Wasmosy (Paraguay); Alejandro Toledo (Perú); José María Aznar and Felipe González (Spain); and Luis Alberto Lacalle and Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay). Bolivia´s Quiroga asserted that "Brazil is a leader and must take a clear position" on this matter. Uruguay's Sanguinetti and Lacalle added that Venezuela is belligerent and lacks an independent system of justice; and Sanguinetti says if the upcoming election is "honest" it will make for a "very important change". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;; Infolatam:;


Leopoldo López' wife to bring case to UN General Assembly

Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed Venezuelan dissenter Leopoldo López has announced she will attend the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York next week to present the case of her husband, who was sentenced to nearly 14 years of imprisonment, and also the situation of dissenters described as "political prisoners" by the Venezuelan opposition. (El Universal,


Machado charges that closing the border seeks total militarization

Maria Corina Machado has charged that President Nicolás Maduro's goal in calling for a new border is to have Venezuela end up "fenced in, incommunicated, humiliated and despoiled". "They do not want anyone to find out about abuse and outrages that are daily committed against citizens". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma’s preliminary hearing was deferred for the sixth time this Tuesday even though the Criminal Code establishes it must be done within 45 days from the day the defendant is arrested. Ledezma was arrested last February 19. The hearing is now scheduled for October 21. (Veneconomy,


Venezuela denies having funded Peru's Humala

The Venezuelan embassy in Peru denied Venezuela had funded the 2006 electoral campaign of incumbent president Ollanta Humala. According to a TV show, called "Cuarto Poder" (Fourth Power), the government of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez secretly funded Humala's campaign for president. An alleged witness reported transactions amounting to US$ 400,000, through Brazil's ODEBRECHT construction company. Peru's Attorney General Office is currently investigating Humala's wife for having received large amounts of money at the time. (El Universal,


The following brief is a synthesis of the news as reported by a variety of media sources. As such, the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Duarte Vivas & Asociados and The Selinger Group.