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, April 7, 2015

April 07, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello

  • 14,528 tons of beef, chicken and powdered milk in 441 containers from Brazil's JBS for state agency CORPOVEX
  • 2,147 tons of powdered milk and margarine in 80 containers from Brazil for CASA
  • 440 tons of security valves in 24 containers, from China for state agency CORPOELEC
  • 92 tons of auto parts in 11 containers of auto parts from Ford Motor USA for Ford Motor Venezuela.
More in Spanish: (Notitarde;



Logistics & Transport


6 new carriages for the Los Teques Metro arrived at La Guaira port

Land Transport and Public Works Minister Haiman El Troudi has announced that 6 new carriages for the Los suburban Los Teques Metro have arrived at La Guaira's port, for a new train linking Caracas and the satellite city. More in Spanish: (AVN;



Oil & Energy


Maduro will propose a constitutional ban on "fracking" in Venezuela

President Nicolás Maduro says he will propose a "constitutional prohibition" of fracking in Venezuela. More in Spanish: (El Mundo,


Harvest Natural Resources is planning a restructuring after the Venezuelan government blocked its plans to sell assets it still has in that country. The American crude oil and natural gas producer said it had had a restriction to liquidity due to PDVSA not paying dividends and failing to comply with other parts of their contract. It explained it is in talks with PDVSA to try to reach a friendly way out of PetroDelta where the company has a 20% stake. (Veneconomy,



Economy & Finance


FOREX reserves down 13% in March to US$ 20.973 billion from US$ 24.176 billion at the beginning of the month. More in Spanish: (El Universal,


Gold reserve "swap" may happen soon

The Central Bank is reported to be negotiating a swap using 1.4 million troy gold ounces of its reserves as 4 year collateral for US$ 1.5 billion. More in Spanish: (El Universal,


Canadian Gold Reserve reports a request to declare default against Venezuela in a Washington court (1st District of Columbia). After an arbitration process that concluded in September 2014, the court ruled Venezuela had to pay the mining company US$740 million. Gold Reserve filed a motion to have the ruling executed last November to no avail. Venezuela must pay over US$ 2.8 billion for the different cases of expropriation of assets in the country. (Veneconomy,


Venezuelan tax authority exceeds collection goal by 54%

The Venezuelan Customs and Tax Administration Service (Seniat) says it has exceeded by 54% its income tax collection goal for the first quarter this year. Income tax collection totaled VEB 60.23 billion (US$ 9.56 billion) versus a goal of VEB 39.10 billion (US$ 6.2 billion), according to a communiqué issued by SENIAT.  It received over 3.5 million tax returns, a surge of over 1,100,000 returns from January-March 2014, which is regarded as a success in the expansion of the tax base. (El Universal,


Tribunal dismisses VENOKLIM lubricants case against Venezuela

A World Bank tribunal has thrown out an arbitration case pitting Netherlands-incorporated motor lubricants company Venoklim against Venezuela over a 2010 nationalization. The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) said on Friday that Venoklim is ultimately owned by Venezuelans and thus did not qualify for arbitration as a foreign company. "The tribunal dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction," wrote Venezuela's lawyer George Kahale of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in an e-mail to Reuters on Monday. "Claimant said (the compensation sought) was a substantial amount, but the case did not reach the stage for it to specify how much." (Reuters,



Politics and International Affairs


CARICOM supports Guyana in border dispute with Venezuela

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) supported Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela, arguing that the Arbitral Award of 1899 is valid. The 15 countries comprising the Caricom rejected a communiqué by the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and published in several Caribbean newspapers, in which Venezuela contended that the Arbitral Award of 1899 was null and void. CARICOM says the award "definitively settled the boundary between the two countries." (El Universal,


FOREIGN POLICY: Busting myths about the latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuelans

A significant number of cognoscenti have labeled President Obama's recent sanctions on seven Venezuelans a “mistake,” one that is likely to embolden Maduro instead of weakening him. Don’t believe it. There’s zero evidence that the sanctions are helping Maduro in any way. If anything, they’re hurting him. Part of the uproar over the Executive Order has to do with its harsh language. The document calls the situation in Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” and declares “a national emergency to deal with that threat.” This was done in order to invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the White House to impose sanctions on individuals. This tough wording did not sit well with Latin American governments. Most of them have expressed support for Venezuela and called for the order’s repeal. Maduro is hoping to make this a major issue at the upcoming Summit of the Americas and has embarked on a drive to collect signatures for a national petition protesting the U.S. measures. But the frenzied objections from Caracas are just hot air. Judging by his overreaction, Maduro is terrified of further sanctions. He’s doing his best to convince everyone that sanctions are making him stronger, and attempting to dissuade the international community from imposing further penalties on corrupt members of his clique. The sanctions do not affect ordinary Venezuelans in any way. By making life hard on those in charge of implementing orders from above, and who also happen to be the people least likely to have taken precautions to protect themselves — the sanctions may well cause serious cracks in the governing coalition. Venezuelans don’t seem to be buying into Maduro’s hysterics because they have more serious problems to worry about. There have been numerous reports of people being coerced to sign. Public servants are being forced to do so, as are schoolchildren; and signatures are being demanded in exchange for hard-to-find items, such as chickens sold at government grocery stores. If the sanctions were a boon to the Venezuelan government’s standing with its own population, you’d think that it would have been happy about the announcement from Washington. Yet this doesn’t explain why Venezuelan officials spent months lobbying against the implementation of the sanctions. Maduro is trying to scare Obama from going any further and has even said that, if the sanctions go away, Venezuela stands ready to work with the U.S. There is no basis to conclude that sanctions are helping Maduro. If they were, he’d be welcoming them. Instead, he’s acting like a man under siege, doing his best to bully Obama into repealing them. That is a clear sign that they’re hurting. (Foreign Policy,


US does not plan to discuss Venezuela at Summit, disappointed at lack of Latin American support

US Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America Roberta Jacobson has said "I see no reason to talk about a specific country" at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Panama. She also expressed disappointment that more Latin American governments did not help Washington clarify that the sanctions imposed are not directed against Venezuela's government or its economy. Jacobson also said President Barack Obama plans only for one separate meeting, and that is with his Panamanian host Carlos Varela. More in Spanish: (El Heraldo,


Former presidents denounce "alteration of democracy" in Venezuela

Nineteen former Ibero-American presidents denounced the "alteration of democracy" in Venezuela through the so-called Panama Declaration, which will be presented next April 9, ahead of the seventh Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama. According to the FAES foundation, whose chairman is former Spanish President José María Aznar, the undersigned asked the participants of the Summit to join efforts to find an "alternative" to solve the Venezuelan crisis, Efe highlighted. (El Universal,


Colombia's Santos deplores US sanctions against Venezuelan officials

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos rejected the sanctions levied by his US counterpart Barack Obama against seven Venezuelan government officials, and called for talks among the different local political factions. In an interview he said: "We have always said that unilateral sanctions are counterproductive in the long run, hence we deplore them." (El Universal,


Peruvian minister: no comments about Venezuela's situation

Pedro Cateriano, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Peru, said that it would be wrong "to intervene in Venezuela's internal affairs" when he was asked whether the government of President Ollanta Humala should adopt a more critical stance towards the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. (El Universal,


Rajoy hopes for "good relations" with Venezuela

Spain's President Mariano Rajoy says he hopes to have "good relations" with Venezuela, although he also said that he would like to see Venezuelan dissenters Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma "out of prison". In an interview, Rajoy recalled that he has met with the wives of both dissenters in his capacity and added: "There is no reason for them (López and Ledezma) to be in prison." (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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