The Secretive Gold Deal Keeping Venezuela Afloat

The Secretive Gold Deal Keeping Venezuela Afloat

Day-to-day life for the average
Venezuelan is a struggle, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. From waking up and trying
to turn the lights on, to finding out that the
power went out overnight, and then trying to take
your morning shower, to find out that you
have no water at home. Then paying for everything has become increasingly
complicated, there’s no cash. Venezuela finding itself
without access to dollars, without access to banks, without access to avenues of
finance, even for their oil, came to the realization, I
guess, that it needed money, and it needed to find a way to get cash when most of the world didn’t want to give ’em access to cash. All assets of Maduro,
subject to U.S. jurisdiction, are frozen. So now that U.S. sanctions
have effectively cut off Maduro’s access to a
global financial network, gold is the last lifeline that Maduro has. [Television Announcer] Reports
claim the Maduro regime is selling out the country’s gold reserves to ease the pressure of
international sanctions. In the last couple of years, on the side, and sort of in secret, the Venezuelans and the
Turks started setting up a pretty sophisticated web of trade of food and gold between
the two countries. We’re not sure who’s winning from the sale of Venezuela’s gold, but what’s clear is that the
Venezuelan people are losing. My name is Michael Smith, and I’m a reporter for the
project and investigations team here at Bloomberg News. My name is Patricia Laya, and I’m Bloomberg’s
Venezuela bureau chief, and I write about Venezuela’s
clandestine gold sales. So the situation in
Venezuela is really bad, and there’s currently sort
of two worlds in Venezuela, one world is for the people
who have access to dollars. You can probably afford to
have a power generator at home in case the power goes out, and you can probably have
a water tank installed for when there’s shortages of water. Now there’s the second
world, that’s the world that the vast majority
of Venezuelans live in, and it’s the world where
you live in bolivares. There’s shortages of food, inflation runs in the
thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands
percent, nobody really knows. Which means, your savings
have long been gone. There’s extreme levels of crime that makes life extremely difficult for anyone who’s just
sort of living there. You have a whole population
that’s subdued by hunger, and that’s also under the
control of the government, who’s become their sole provider. People who can’t really
think of an economic future because they can’t think beyond
the day that they’re living. Nicolas Maduro is a former bus driver and a former union leader. Maduro came to power in
2013, when Hugo Chavez died. And he was basically Chavez’s
handpicked successor. Outwardly, their message was that they wanted to spread
the country’s oil wealth fairly among the poorest Venezuelans. And for a while, they were able to, when oil prices were really high, they funneled much of that money through social programs in Venezuela. But they’ve been heavily corrupted in so many different ways,
and bungled, and misapplied, that they’ve really turned into something that has just had an
incredibly detrimental effect on the people of Venezuela
in many, many different ways. And when oil prices crashed, the whole economy came crashing down, ’cause Venezuela depends on
95% of its revenue on oil. How bad is it, and is
there any end in sight? It’s terrible, it’s getting worse, basically Maduro is
waging economic warfare against his own people, his own country. An abuse of power that
started with Chavez, that allowed him to not just change the country’s constitution, but also fill the country’s courts and the electoral authority with people that were loyal to him, and that allowed the country to completely eliminate any
sort of democratic institution. Maduro has given most of
the government’s control to the military, so the feeling is that, if
Maduro falls, they fall. So, they have formed a bond
through money laundering, fraud, and all sorts
of illegal businesses. [Television Reporter] A
first shipment of gold bars has arrived in Venezuela
after President Hugo Chavez recalled almost all the country’s
foreign bullion reserves from western banks. So in 2011, shortly after
the US economic crisis and the European debt crisis, Chavez basically used that as an excuse to have about 11 billion worth of Venezuela’s gold repatriated
from banks in North America, banks in Europe, back to Venezuela. He said that it was a measure to safeguard against financial
instability around the world. And that move by Chavez
almost a decade ago is what’s keeping Maduro
selling gold nowadays. It’s legal for Maduro to sell his gold, but what’s happened is
that after U.S. sanctions, a lot of the buyers have been spooked. So what’s happened is that they’ve begun to sell the gold in secrecy. [Reporter] On Venezuela, you did the tough sanctions and you sent the aid, but it seems like Maduro
is no closer to leaving. We really haven’t done the
really tough sanctions yet. We can do the tough sanctions
and all options are open. We want Maduro to leave so there can be free and fair elections, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that there’s democracy
and freedom in Venezuela. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Venezuela more than a decade ago, but they never went further than individual targeted
sanctions until 2017. We have our eye very closely on Venezuela, Since President Trump took office, they were just accelerated
to cover hundreds of people and companies and government entities and that sort of thing. We have continued to expose the corruption of Maduro and his cronies
and today’s action ensures they can no longer loot the
assets of the Venezuelan people. US sanctions can be
devastating for the people and companies that are targeted, they’re listed and targets of sanctions. You become a pariah in the
system of commerce and finance. Unless you’re in a country that will allow you to do
business despite US sanctions, and that’s what’s going on with Turkey. [News Anchor] Let’s get straight to the
breaking news overnight. An attempted coup leading to chaos, death, and instability in Turkey. In July of 2016, there was a coup attempt in Turkey against the government President Erdogan, and it was a serious material threat to the Erdogan government. The US watching this sudden uprising with concern. Erdogan felt isolated, he wasn’t getting much support from anyone in the world that day, and one of the first calls he got was from a representative of
the Venezuelan government, who contacted the Turkish
embassy in Venezuela, and said, “We’re with you, we know what it’s like to be
a victim of a coup attempt, we’re pretty sure the U.S.
government was behind it somewhat, we’re with you.” And that contact, which went all the way up to
the president of Venezuela and the president of Turkey, was really sort of the seed that turned into a conduit
for the Venezuelans to get their gold out of the country, and to turn it into money. There’s been a tremendous trade of gold, tons and tons and tons and tons of it, that has left Venezuela, a lot of the national
reserves have been sold off. He still has this lifeline
that’s available to him, and that he’s clearly been
able to get away with. We’ve seen him do a multitude
of gold sales this year, despite the sanctions that are in place, so they realized that he still has a way to prop up his regime
and to stay in power. There is an estimated eighty tonnes
left at the central bank. That’s about $3.5 billion worth. What’s left right now is only
enough for six more months of food subsidies for Venezuela’s people, so if Venezuela runs out of gold, we don’t really know
what’s going to happen. What we do know is that they
are feeling the pressure, and this pressure of knowing
that gold can soon run out is what’s bringing them to
negotiate with the opposition. To predict where things
are going in Venezuela is a dangerous game in my experience. You could always find people saying, “Oh, this can’t go on any longer, it’s gonna collapse,” but I think it’s a very
complex crisis there and it’s gonna be very
difficult to find a solution that really works quickly, I think.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. El video tiene subtítulos disponibles en español. Para cambiar a subtítulos en español, haga clic en el ícono de ajustes y seleccione Subtitles / CC > Spanish.

  2. Unadulterated Bloomberganda, some years a go i would've swallow some. Many countries in latin america don't come close to the education, wealth and mineral level of VZ, not to mention a bleeding HIGH dollar and yep! an inpayble debt designed to do just that, make them SLAVES, and guess what……… THEY ARE CURRENTLY "A" OK, YES, AS LONG AS THEY TAKE THAT EXTRA LARGE REPRODUCTIVE PRIVATE PART REAL DEEP WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE AND TAKE IT WITH A HAPPY-THANKFUL EXPRESSION ON THEIR FACES.

  3. Cuanta basura. Está fuera del sistema financiero occidental, no puede vender su petróleo ni nada, y en vez de criticar a su gobierno por poner sanciones, se la pasan hablando de Maduro.
    Pues bien, ahora mienten igual, porque no era tanto oro, de hecho, era bastante poco en comparación a la economía Venezolana, menos de 2000 millones de US$. Usan oro como moneda de cambio, pero el que consiguen, no sus "reservas", y eso solo cuando no hay remedio, porque China, Turquía, Rusia, permiten pago en productos. Dejen de mentir.

  4. I am so afraid of my own country's future now! Literally! We can go in a downward spiral if current situation prevails!

  5. Maduro Tyranny has found a dollar mine….. ¡Ecuador! yes that tiny 3rd world South american country. Ecuador has the US dollar as it's national currency and He (maduro) has planned and orchestrated a mass immigration of their people to that country. Like Mexicans in the US, for Mexico's economy, the "las remesas" (Remittance) is the fundamental resource that goverment receives and keeps that economy afloat. So maduro is doing that too.

  6. The marxist communism that governs in Cuba since 1959 and in Venezuela since 1999 is the total violation of human rights.

    Karl Marx is the walking dead.

  7. Yeahh blame it on erdogan and turkey why not he is the boo man of the west now , every century they make one up as there escape goat

  8. USA is making Venezuela suffer. No one mentions that. Why are the sanctions? Those enforcers of democracy don't like countries going out of line

  9. I wonder how many of you here in the comments have lived in Venezuela and would still praise communism I can't wait for you to live here with the new salary of 3,5$ equivalent, each month, when the average thing like a coffee costs 5$. All communism in the world should be banned any means necessary, you are the trash of the world.

  10. Their economy went sour when the price of oil dipped back in like 2013 I believe…after that the country just got worse and worse and Maduro won’t take action to fix it so they got hit with sanctions to force him too tho obviously it made things worse in the short term…I guess it’s that old saying “things will get worse before they get better”

  11. Turkey take advantage at someone’s expenses ?? 👎👎. This is the country whom committed genocide on many Christians and invades other countries. Typical

  12. The problem isn't Venezuela who has a sovergn right to govern itself for the benefit of all it's people, n not just the racist privedged class of colonials! the real problem is the ruthlessly rotten land grabbing parasites who have contaminated the world 500 years ago with this mid-evil HELL! They know perfectly well that real Justice and Harmony is a Threat!👊🏿😡

  13. This is how the system of dajjal works sanction sanctions then bankrupt the country until its become slaves to dajjal.

  14. Recent news Venezuela is going to economically sanction the US then cut off all oil supplies in revenge for when the US deliberately destroyed Venezuela's economy when the US lifted its 40 year ban on oil exports in 2014. Bloomberg: fake news. If the US has any plans to militarily invade Venezuela, think again. Every Venezuelan citizen who wants an AK47 with training have been issued one as part of Venezuela's civilian militias. Go for it America. And Mnuchin at the US Treasury: pathetic creature spawned out of Goldman Sachs.

  15. Venezuela sits on the largest proven oil reserves its their blessing and damnation. World pirates, primarily the US and EU have applied sanctions to take a bad situation and turn it into a crisis…all Venezuela has to do is turn over the oil. I’m certain Trump, Pompeo and Bolton are not corrupt, and they simply want to spread “Democracy and Freedom” LOL…

  16. Very difficult to find solutions that work quickly! Easy…do what US govt wants. US don’t like your democratically elected leader change to the ones US support. Your oil reserves is their interest.

  17. lie and delusion you bastard reporters are incompetent, deserve to lose their jobs. deceive the world with feelings. You are miserable.

  18. It is okay for u.s. to interfere with the elections of other countries. It is not okay for other countries to interfere with the election of USA.

  19. Socialism
    Corrupt heads of state living in luxury but telling its people how to live
    It’s rife through this part of the world
    Conned by corrupt socialist pigs

  20. the statements at 4:41 reminds me of the US president's current strategy….be careful you don't end like Venezuela in the future

  21. Venezuela will have to solve this mess, with help from outside, but no invasion from the US. This is not something done from the outside. They voted for Chavez. They should have realized what that meant. Chavez picked Madura. Fruit from the tree, is still the same thing.

  22. About oil and the Saudi’s did anyone notice the lack oil shock in the US after the attack on Saudi oil fields? That is because we are producing oil and gas at home in the US. Having Oil reserves itself doesn’t cut it, you have produce oil & gas!

  23. So the moral of the story is that if you want to resist US hegemony then make sure you have your gold in hand and do not rely on the US dollar for international trade

  24. Bloomberg is a f**** liar Network television.. f**** reporters liars…Como se puede creer a esta estacion so siempre manipula la noticia… NO PIERDAN SU TIEMPO VIENDO ESTA MIERDA.

  25. I realize that this corrupt dictator leader doesn’t have the support of most people, but he has enough support that when I hear morons chanting for him it makes me not really care about the people there. I have to remind myself that most of the hard working poor people there don’t support that tyrant

  26. Obviously when a person or a country doesn't have access to the financial system/International Banks etc and you freeze their financial assets they will have problems a whole lot of them. It is the same thing when you have millions of dollars in the bank and the bank denied you access to their bank and froze all your cards. Then you can not buy not even bread.There you have it. Because of this and the weaponization of the US Dollars and financial systems the world are at this point of ditching the dollar and introducing their own financial systems. On the short term the US is inflicting a lot of damage to Venezuela and other countries like Russia, China, Turkey, Iran with sanctions but because of this it will accelerate the fall of the US Dollars and so the US Empire!

  27. The gold of my dear country is being sold to the dictator of Turkey to keep the oppressor of my people. You see these reports and you just feel a hole in your chest

  28. Let's say Venezuela and Iran were not under US sanctions, what would be the price of oil? All this nonsense deflection of evil dictator being corrupt, etc etc.

  29. Removing sanctions would not be of much help, because Venezuela's economy was heavily dependent on Natural Gas and Oil, when the Trump admin came into power they removed oil producing restrictions on oil companies in USA, and with the advent of technologies like Fracking, US became the number 1 producer and consumer of oil in the world.. This led to the lack of oil imports which led to the Venezuelan economy crashing… So removing sanctions not gonna help.. because the world is doing fine without Venezuelan oil..

  30. Paper money brings corruption
    Paper money brings famine
    Famine brings revolution
    But the people still think it’s ok to let the money be paper so round and round we go
    Do they have gun rights hmmmm I suppose not. Ok no guns no revolution. Back to paper money. Back to corruption inflation and starvation. Just had to say that because they are pawning off the problem to the US which is in a similar situation.

  31. Let’s Believe Bloomberg’s reporting? No criticism of US corruption? Us is citizen starving and their priority is other country’s need for democracy…

  32. This is how europe is only vasall state of the US, Venezuela is a victim of western imperilism…and who sanctions the US for its wars you morons

  33. Its no secret a country try to exploit each other.

    But it's amaze me how USA haven't invade all country and genocide everyone. They can do that and had gair chance at winning it with or without nuclear exchange.

  34. Hypocrisy as it's finest. Who suspended the bank accounts of the government. So Turkey and Venezuela are don't allowed to do business. Are you even care about Venezuelan ordinary people. Paralyse a country than blame others who wants to get out of this pressure. Fuck you Mr. Bloomberg. Is there any American politician or media outlet who isn't corrupted. Complete bullshit coverage.


  36. how secret is the gold trade if both the leaders are filming themselves with other leaders and talking about trading gold

  37. Ha, ha, ha… You are such a bunch of media criminals… Venecuela have money to provide everything for their people, but USA sanctions are preventing that. The real enemy of the Venezuelan people is the swamp in Washington…

  38. They wouldnt be in this situation if not for the sanctions. but hey, lets choose which corrup leader we dnt like and bring him down. The others that we do like, can do whatever they want. UNTIL WE DONT LIKE THEM. which normally hapoens when a country decides to exercise their right of self determination..

  39. U.S. propaganda against the Venezuelan regime which the United States, has been trying to overthrow bush, obama, & trump all on the same page with…. Funny how the propagandists media claims that the regime is so malicious towards its own population yet, in reality they are in support of the government in against the u.s. coup attempts and puppet politicians

  40. Maduro the fool kills his country and people because of his ego and hunger for power. If Maduro loved Venezuela and the people he would of stepped aside and let another lead Venezuela that can get along with other goverments for the people.

  41. Oh cmon! We all know how much US politicians care about law and order in other countries. Similar trick Yankees did with Honduras by ousting democratically elected President and supported military regime and now when country is worse than it was ever in it's modern history and now when Hondurans are running away from Crimes, violence, inflation to US then typical Yankees parroting the old rhetoric about illegal immigration. Although I don't support maduro or think he's any better leader but USA got no business in that country,Venezuelan better not fall for the "Democracy" bs, and to see how that worked out in past just look at Iraq, Libya

  42. So its the U.S.'s fault because of the sanctions and we are sticking Maduro with the blame because we control the narrative.

  43. USA propaganda didn’t work to start war in Venezuela the failed in Middle East now now. Turkey Russia Iran and more country’s the realised USA destroyed hundreds country’s to get there oil gold.

  44. Bloomberg Sham on You and your fake news. Why wouldn’t you start talking about how the Sanctions are the #1 reason for their suffering.
    Your Trash

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