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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello:

  • Over 13,000 tons of Canadian wheat for Molinos Nacionales C.A. (Monaca).
    5,000 tons of yellow corn from Argentina for Agribrands Purina Venezuela.
  • 99 tons of milk in 5 containers from Canprolac Argentina for their Venezuela affiliate.


Remittances to Colombia dropped 89.8% in 2014 as they closed at US$ 51.3 million from US$ 492 million in 2014, according to Colombia's Central Bank (Banco de la República). The drop is due to the ban imposed by the Venezuelan regime to remittances to Colombia on February 2014. (Veneconomy,



Logistics & Transport


Comptroller reports up to six year delays in cargo leaving ports

According to the National Comptroller's annual report for 2014, imported goods arriving at Venezuelan ports can remain there for more time than legally allowed, importers do not pay the arising fines, and authorities do nothing about it. It reviewed 67 cases at the Puerto Cabello docks in which merchandise had been abandoned for one to six years with no official action. More in Spanish: (El Universal:



Oil & Energy


Venezuela’s oil exports to the United States dropped 4.8% to 837,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2014 while exports to Europe increased 11.9% to 132,000 bpd, according to the Oil Ministry’s annual report. Asia continued being the main market last year although it also dropped 8.3% to 853,000 bpd. (Veneconomy,


Unable to get paid or get out of Venezuela, oil company Harvest Natural Resources announces US$ 194 million loss

The  company is currently experiencing severe liquidity constraints brought about by the failure of the Venezuelan government to approve Harvest’s sale of its Venezuelan asset, the failure to pay dividends and other contractual breaches related to PETRODELTA. It is attempting to raise funds in both the debt and equity markets to fulfill its immediate operating requirements, and consulting with professionals in the area of restructuring and reorganization in the event it is not able to obtain sufficient funding to pay its expenses. (Latin American Herald Tribune,; Reuters,; Bloomberg,


An armed group allegedly broke into PDVSA’s facilities at the El Tejero’s Operational Center in Monagas state, trying to cause a crude oil and gas leakage in an attempt to affect the power system generated by gas, says the state oil company in a Sunday press release. According to PDVSA, the event took place in the wee hours of Friday morning and the “terrorist sabotage act” was neutralized by workers. However, no details were provided about the alleged “terrorist group.” (Veneconomy,; El Universal,



Economy & Finance


Venezuela due to pay out US$ 51 billion in bonds through 2019

Venezuela would have to disburse US$ 52.13 billion through 2019 to pay maturing PDVSA and sovereign bonds, says José Ignacio Guariño, a scholar in the area of finances and securities markets. He indicates that payments due to bondholders during 2015 amount to US$ 10.75 billion, of which PDVSA will have to pay US$ 6.19 billion. The sovereign Eurobond 2015 already matured and US$ 1.13 billion were duly paid. (El Universal,


Default judgment against Venezuela in US$ 750 Million Gold Reserve expropriation award

The U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Columbia has entered a default judgment against Venezuela following its failure to file an appearance in a lawsuit brought by Gold Reserve to confirm a US$ 740 million arbitration award dated September 22, 2014. Gold Reserve had filed a petition to confirm the Award by an arbitration tribunal of the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Once such Awards are confirmed, they are enforceable in the United States as if they were a judgment of the court. Since the inception of these proceedings, Venezuela has been willfully avoiding service, refusing, among other things, to authorize its U.S. counsel to accept service. (Latin American Herald Tribune,


Venezuela must pay out around US$ 2,12 billion in ICSID awards - over half its liquid reserves

Over the past six months the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has ruled against Venezuela in five different arbitration cases brought by foreign companies expropriated here, for a total US$ 2.12 billion - over half of the nation's liquid reserves. The nation must pay Canada's mining company Gold Reserve US$ 740.3 million; EXXON Mobil US$ 853 million; Chilean airport operator IDC and their Swiss partner Flughafen Zürich, US$ 33 million; US bottling company Owens Illinois, US$ 455 million; and the Tidewater oil service company, US$ 46.4 million. These payments will further pressure national finances which are already hard hit by the drop in oil prices. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;



Politics and International Affairs


Maduro says “Venezuela is ready” for dialogue with U.S.

President Nicolas Maduro says Venezuela is ready to initiate dialogue with the United States based on mutual respect and equality, and that he is prepared to speak directly with U.S. President Barack Obama on this basis. “Venezuela is ready for a dialogue based on respect and in terms of equality between the States with the government of President Barack Obama wherever, whenever and however he wants, I say this as the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, that we are ready,” he declared. (Latin American Herald Tribune,


Former Brazilian President Cardoso joins Ledezma and Lopez defense team

Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has accepted the invitation of former Spanish President Felipe Gonzalez to join the international defense team representing imprisoned Venezuelan opposition leaders Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo Lopez, according to a statement issued by Lopez’s Popular Will party. Cardoso will accompany Brazilian members of parliament to Caracas where they will assess the situation of the two political prisoners. Cardoso has thus become part of the team that includes Felipe Gonzalez and Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, who served as an international counsel to the late former South African President Nelson Mandela. The team will be responsible for reporting about Lopez and Ledezma’s situation to international authorities, foreign governments, and the press. (Latin American Herald Tribune,; Veneconomy,; El Universal,


Venezuelan dissenter: "We have the best opportunity to produce a change"

Jesús Torrealba, Executive Secretary of the Venezuelan opposition coalition Unified Democratic Conference (MUD) says there is a good possibility for the Venezuelan opposition to win the upcoming parliament election, and adds that there is still work to be done. "We have the best opportunity (...) to produce a change, yet the work is not done yet (...) We have a great opportunity, but we have to turn it into reality," he says. (El Universal,


52 bodies taken to Caracas morgue over the weekend

As many as 52 bodies were taken to Bello Monte morgue in Caracas over the weekend. During March, the morgue has received a total of 466 corpses. According to off-the-record reports from the Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigation Police Agency (Cicpc), most of the victims were murdered. (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.


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