Move to re-write Venezuelan constitution amid planned protests

Move to re-write Venezuelan constitution amid planned protests

Nicaragua, a staunch ally of Venezuela, opposed the crisis meeting altogether, arguing Venezuela was the victim of a "political lynching". Since 2013, its economy has shrunk 27 percent and its food imports have dropped by 70 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year.

In a statement, Goldman Sachs acknowledged it purchased the bonds, but said they were bought in the secondary market and not directly from the Venezuelan government.

He accused the Wall Street institution of extending a "financial lifeline" to Maduro and making a "quick buck" from the suffering of the Venezuelan people. We made the investment in part because we believe it will.”. "It is detrimental to the interests of the Venezuelan people, which has been repressed for months as it demands liberty and democracy", said Eduardo Lugo, 23, a Venezuelan communications student who has been in NY for the last four years. The government must understand that it should listen to the Venezuelan people, ' Capriles said and called on the opposition to rally in front of the Interior Relations Ministry, but past midday no one from the opposition groups had shown up.

Venezuela's opposition is refusing to participate, saying the vote set for July is a sham, with biased rules to ensure the body is filled with Maduro supporters.

"We are invested in PDVSA bonds because, like many in the asset management industry, we believe the situation in the country must improve over time", Goldman said in a statement.

"We recognise that the situation is complex and evolving and Venezuela is in crisis".

Sixty-nine people have been killed in Venezuela since April 1 as result of numerous, violent protests held against the nation's leader Nicolas Maduro, head of the Venezuelan non-governmental organization, Foro Penal (Penal Forum), Alfredo Romero, said Tuesday, Sputnik reported.

"No matter how hard they try, Goldman Sachs and his top executives can not embellish this deal, which is immoral for Venezuelans", Julio Borges, president of the Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, told El Nacional. "This good business deal of Goldman Sachs is at our expense", said Diana Carvallo, a 65-year-old artist who splits her time between NY and Caracas.

In addition, the letter stated that the Venezuelan Congress will investigate the transaction and that Borges will recommend that the Venezuelan government not recognize or pay the bonds.

Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Videgaray has been sharply criticized by Maduro's government but has nonetheless pledged to use all diplomatic channels to help reach a peaceful political solution to the bloody crisis in Venezuela.

Meanwhile, diplomats from Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and other nations rejected the meeting as an intervention in the internal affairs of the South American country.

It said it "affirms that conflict resolution mechanisms will require all parties to fundamentally rethink the view they have of themselves and the other, in order to transform the now polarized debate into one about the people's common interests and objectives".

Goldman's purchase of Venezuelan bonds is a problem both optically and ethically, a former managing director at the financial firm told CNBC on Tuesday.

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