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, March 17, 2016

March 17, 2016

International Trade


Uruguay “firmly” demands that Venezuela repay pending debt

Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa reports that his government has sent a “very diplomatic, but very firm” note to his Venezuelan counterpart demanding new talks on the repayment of a long standing debt for food exports. He added that Uruguay seeks to “irrefutably document the debt from one State to another, that one State admit it owes the other State that much money, because it not only involves dairy products, rice and chicken, but other important agribusiness ítems that were beyond that negotiation”. More in Spanish: (Notitarde,


Pérez Abad: E-commerce quota will not be removed from new FOREX system

Miguel Pérez Abad, Vice-President for the Economic Area and Economy Minister, has once more denied that the electronic quota in dollars for purchases abroad would be eliminated, following the implementation in past days of a floating forex rate called DICOM. He said "they (his administration) respect the quotas," adding that more foreign currency, when available, would be allocated to this mechanism. (El Universal,



Oil & Energy


Venezuela to shut down for a week to cope with electricity crisis

Venezuela is shutting down for a week as the government struggles with a deepening electricity crisis. President Nicolas Maduro gave everyone an extra three days off work next week, extending the two-day Easter holiday. Maduro had originally said over the weekend that the extended holiday would only apply to state employees. The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams. The ruling socialists have blamed the shortage on the El Nino weather phenomena and “sabotage” by their political foes, while critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning. (Bloomberg,


Del Pino says 20 countries to attend Doha April meet, talking to Iran

Venezuela's Oil Minister claims some 20 crude producing countries will meet in Doha for talks on April 17 and added he was personally speaking to his Iranian counterpart about the proposal. "The invitation backed by the countries that have proposed the production freeze until the middle of the year as a mechanism to balance prices and stocks will be applicable to OPEC and non-OPEC countries like Kazakhstan, Oman, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Colombia and others," Eulogio Del Pino said. (Reuters,; El Universal,





Government scrutinizes COLGATE–PALMOLIVE

The National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights has started an inspection and investigation of COLGATE-PALMOLIVE following charges by some labor representatives that the Company is causing shortages by offering only larger size product linespacking. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias,



Economy & Finance


Twitter threat may endanger Venezuela's oil-for-cash China deals

Venezuela’s opposition Congress is threatening to undermine President Nicolas Maduro’s ability to obtain desperately needed cash. On March 1, National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup said in a Twitter post that Congress may declare invalid financing deals signed by Maduro - when he’s no longer president. “Warning to foreign creditors: contracts in the national interest signed by the Chavista government without approval by the National Assembly will be null and void," said Allup, who has 783,000 Twitter followers. The post was re-tweeted 11,000 times and echoed by Jose Guerra, chairman of the Finance Committee. (Bloomberg,


Empresas Polar are committed to Venezuela

Lorenzo Mendoza, Executive President of Venezuelan food manufacturer and supplier Empresas Polar, says the company is committed to the country's future, adding the group has confidence in the future and will keep on making proposals and delivering basic products to Venezuelans. Mendoza added that they are willing to take part in talks with the government provided that they are invited to do so. He said they have not been invited to participate neither in the Productive Economy Council nor in none of the fourteen areas designed to boost the country's economy –known as engines– especially that of the agro-business sector. "Even though special meetings have been arranged, we have not been called formally to hold a fruitful debate for the country's welfare," Mendoza said. (El Universal,


SIMADI exchange rate continues to devalue



Politics and International Affairs


VP Istúriz: “We have a duty to re-establish relations so that the country may live in peace

During his presentation to the National Assembly of the reasons for an extension of an economic emergency decree in Venezuela, Executive Vice-President Aristóbulo Istúriz declared that it is fundamental to build confidence in the country to lift it out of crisis. The official decided to attend the Congress regular meeting to seek to hold talks with those who still oppose the government. "We have the duty to re-establish relations so that the country may live in peace," he said, adding: "I have the duty to respond to the opposition and the country," He claimed the reasons behind the executive order include "the economic war" and the "crisis in the oil-rentier model." Central Bank President Nelson Merentes is also scheduled to go before the National Assembly to address the issue of the economic emergency decree. (El Universal,;; and more in Spanish: Notitarde;


Maduro: "Only we guarantee that the nation is viable"

President Nicolas Maduro claims that "only we (his government) guarantee that Venezuela is viable." Responding to recent comments by US President Barack, he said there is a "criminal attack" by "an empire that seeks to destabilize the Government of Venezuela. Obama is obsessed with putting an end to the Bolivarian revolution." Directly addressing President Obama he said: "Barack Obama, in Venezuela, the revolution does not surrender, nobody surrenders. Our love for the homeland shall prevail (...) If I ever see Obama face to face I will tell him he is tainted with a stain for threatening our homeland." Obama has said in an interview that he did not want to see the country fail despite the tense relations between Washington and Caracas. "It's not in America's interest to see Venezuela fail, because if Venezuela fails then that could have an impact on the economies of Colombia or Central America or Mexico, and that in turn can affect U.S. economies," (El Universal,; Reuters,


Congress Speaker says Obama's executive order is not meddling

Congress Speaker Henry Ramos Allup says the one-year extension of an executive order by US President Barack Obama declaring Venezuela an "unusual and extraordinary threat," has "no implications on the country" and is not "meddling." Ramos added: "I personally think that, apropos Obama's remarks, (the government) is using (the executive order) as a mechanism to distract Venezuelans from the hard situation the country is going through in the economic, political and social fields". (El Universal,


Venezuelan legislators to meet with OAS's Almagro in April

Opposition legislator Luis Florido, head of the Standing Committee on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration of the National Assembly (AN), has announced that National Assembly representatives will meet with Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) early in April to request the application of the Hemisphere’s Democratic Charter to the case of Venezuela. Florido's remarks came during the presentation of a report on the tour of Chile and Uruguay he undertook along with anti-government deputies William Dávila and Carlos Valero to denounce the country's current economic, political and social situation, and to seek support from OAS member nations. (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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