Venezuelan opposition condemns Goldman for $2.8 billion bond deal
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N)’s statement that it never transacted directly with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro when it bought $2.8 billion of bonds for pennies on the dollar was dismissed by the country’s opposition on Tuesday as an effort to “put lipstick on this pig”. Goldman, in a statement late Monday confirming the purchase, said its asset-management arm acquired the bonds “on the secondary market from a broker and did not interact with the Venezuelan government”. The New York-based investment bank came under fire by Venezuelan politicians and protesters in New York opposed to Maduro, who say the deal nonetheless provided the cash-strapped government hundreds of millions of dollars in badly-needed hard currency. The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, makes Goldman complicit in alleged human rights abuses under the government, they said.