Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
- Venezuela's PDVSA now has a board controlled by Maduro and another ad hoc board controlled by the opposition - and the state-run oil giant has passed its April 29 deadline for making a $71-million interest payment on its 2020 bond (it has a 30-day grace period). Opposition leader Guaido (head of the National Assembly) has just approved the payment (reluctantly) to avoid a rush to collect on Citgo collateral. Maduro won’t pay however and is refusing to protect Venezuela’s assets by going into default. Maduro is refusing to pay because Guaido controls Citgo now, and the PDVSA bond is backed by shares in the US refiner. At the same time, a US court has also stepped in to lend a hand, granting the company a 120-day stay on its legal fight with a hedge fund over an unpaid debt of over $180 million after it defaulted on four loans. In the meantime, Maduro, has threatened military escalation with Colombia after the latter complained about the entry of Venezuelan troops a couple of hundred meters into Colombian territory. Maduro also took the bold move of arresting a key opposition figure in a show of force intended to demonstrate that his power base is still secure enough.
- The formation of a unity government in South Sudan will be delayed until next year as the current government has failed to disarm all militant groups that signed the peace agreement last September.
- President Trump has imposed sanctions on…