On 4 June, Bloomberg reported that Deutsche Bank AG had confiscated 20 tonnes of Venezuelan gold as collateral citing Caracas’ failure to make interest payments on a 2016 gold swap agreement valued at $750 million.
The decision by Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and the Central Bank of England to withhold Venezuela’s gold from the Maduro government was mainly political.
The agreement with Venezuela was due to expire in 2021, but the German bank closed out the contract earlier, as to hurt Venezuela’s credit repayment reputation and sabotage sovereign welfare ratings even further.
In much the same way, Citigroup Inc. and the Bank of England seized Venezuelan gold in March this year.
Recent events involving the US Treasury seeking to block gold usages in global transactions for Venezuela, Iran, Turkey and others is a latest testament to that fact.
In Venezuela’s case gold is “not only a Tier 1 Asset as per the designation of the Bank for International Settlements itself” but “means of both immediate currency for [the country] and a bedrock monetary asset for eventually stripping itself off of the dollar standard as global reserve and monopoly oil currency standard”.
What’s happening is very important in terms of economic cornering of Venezuela and the Maduro government because as you know, just Maduro is giving a food package to around 6 million people, so he needs cash.
If he cannot provide that cash to buy the food package in cities, even his main supporters will start questioning his ability to govern Venezuela.
In March 2019, the Maduro government failed to buy back gold from Citigroup Inc. for nearly $1.1 billion.
In 2018 the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) paid $172 million to Citibank to recover part of the gold it had put up as guarantee for a $1.6 billion loan.
According to Reuters, the BCV was supposed to pay another $400 million to Citibank in 2020 under the agreement, but the financial institution took the gold instead.
As a result, Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Inc. gained control of around $1.4 billion of the Venezuelan government’s bullion which they can use to recover the value of loans returning the difference to Venezuela.
However, this money will not end up in the vaults of the BVC because of the US Treasury’s sanctions, imposed on the Central Bank of Venezuela on 17 April 2019.
Deutsche Bank and Citigroup helped ambush Venezuelan gold on behalf of Western governments who want Maduro immediately replaced by [Juan] Guaido.
The fact that Deutsche Bank and Citigroup had not sought to restructure Venezuela’s debt after the said defaults, as had been done with the Greek defaults four years ago.
“No, by contrast, this economic subterfuge is part of Venezuela’s clearly being targeted for isolation and state collapse.
The Bank of England was stalling Venezuela’s Gold Repatriation for months, waiting for the introduction of US Executive Order 13850, signed on 1 November 2018, imposing US economic sanctions on anyone doing business with the Venezuelan gold sector.
The question then arises as to why the Venezuelan leadership held its precious metals reserves in the countries ideologically hostile to the country’s government.
Venezuela has lost a considerable part of this gold as collateral in gold swap transactions amid mounting sanctions imposed on the South American state by the US regime.
However, despite the introduction of US Executive Order 13850, the Maduro government managed to sell 13.7 tonnes of its gold worth of $570 million in May 2019, according to Bloomberg.
In 2018, Venezuela exported $779 million in gold to Turkey. Venezuela’s decision to conduct gold barter operations with Turkey to import food was a good deal.
But the option was sabotaged by the unwillingness of international banks to handle Venezuelan transactions because of US sanctions.
Venezuela’s rapidly plummeting gold reserves have to date tumbled to a 29-year low of $7.9 billion. On the other hand, like the oil reserves, Venezuela has the largest gold deposits in the world, so holding gold and oil can never be made a problem.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2019.