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Global Intelligence Report - 30th January 2019

Venezuela

Sources

- Geopolitical consultant to Fortune 500 companies in the Americas
- High-level Scottish government official
- Energy consultant to Scottish government
- EU economic analyst in Brussels

Venezuela: The Next Move on the International Stage

On Tuesday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court froze opposition “president in charge” Juan Guaido’s bank accounts and imposed a travel ban on him. Then, by Wednesday morning, a desperate Maduro was pleading with Americans to stop Trump from intervening on Guaido’s behalf and saying he would sit down and talk with the opposition for a peaceful solution. The day before, the US slapped new sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company. Now this is really a game of creditors.

Beijing, in September, threw another $5 billion Maduro’s way to prop up crude production. In total, China is now into Venezuela for $50 billion—money it’s used to buy influence in the country since 2007, mostly in the form of oil-for loan deals. It wasn’t initially a bet on Maduro, who was of no consequence when this all started; rather, it was a bet on Venezuelan oil, and right now, it’s looking increasingly like a losing bet to Beijing. But this is not Russia. China’s relations with Maduro can change on a dime, if the price is right, or if the losses will be mitigated. It’s also a great bargaining chip in the ongoing trade wars with the US. Right now, Beijing…

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