- Hugo Chávez originally wanted a whopping US$120 billion, but got $20 billion instead.
- Aside from the usual suspects (Giordani, Ramírez, etc.), the point person for the day-to-day handling of the China deal is an obscure chavista bureacrat, BANDES President Edmeé Betancourt. So many billions of dollars flying around with no transparency – must be good to be Edmeé.
- The Chinese are livid because oil production in the Orinoco has not ramped up as promised. PDVSA was simply too busy handing out shoddy apartments.
- Rafael Ramírez denies that a new loan was even on the table, but even if it was, it would be “for the benefit of the people.”
- Oh, and to top it all off, CITGO renewed its contract to give low-cost heating oil to 1.7 million people in New England, thanks to the haggling of a Kennedy.
So let me get this straight. The Venezuelan government basically:
- asks people for money, and gives the fabulous returns to their investments;
- needs increasing amounts of people to lend them ever-growing amounts of money just to continue its operations;
- has no transparency; and
- its investors know this can’t last, which is why the risk premiums for our debt are so high.
En dos platos, the Chávez government is a Ponzi scheme.