November 28, 2017

Venezuela faces a restructuring between odious creditors and odious debtors, so it behooves us ordinary Venezuelans citizens to intervene and block any odious deals.

Sir, Jonathan Wheatley and Robin Wigglesworth when reporting on the surreal sort of restructuring of Venezuela’s debt by the equally surreal Maduro government write: “Venezuela is already a serial defaulter. It has defaulted on miners, oil companies and other enterprises whose assets it has seized without compensation. It has defaulted on unpaid suppliers to PDVSA, the national oil company. Most seriously, it has defaulted on its people, denying them access to basic foods and medicines, causing an epidemic of weight loss and turning injury or illness into a mortal danger.” “Venezuela bond repayments: dead and alive” November 28.

Sir, the creditors, if they had carried out any minimum due diligence, would have been perfectly aware their financing would not be put to any good use, so for me, all their loans, given only because of juicy risk-premiums or other profit motives, are just odious credits.

And the borrowers, knowing very well they were contracting that debt for no good purposes at all, defines all these borrowings to be odious debts.

So here we are Venezuelans citizens, with children, parents and grandparents dying for lack of food and medicines. Are we now just supposed to sit down and allow this restructuring to happen on whatever odious terms the creditors and the debtors agree on in a petit committee?

No way! As a minimum, for a starter, our General National Assembly not yet in exile needs to authorize our Supreme Court of Justice in exile, to take charge so as to at least determine what could be deemed to be bona fide, dubious, or outright odious credits.


A former Executive Director of the World Bank, for Venezuela (2002-2004)