The Secretive Gold Deal Keeping Venezuela Afloat

The Secretive Gold Deal Keeping Venezuela Afloat

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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.


  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. 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.

  3. 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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Top intelligence agencies around the world have determined the coup in Turkey was a false flag operation at the direction of Erdogan. It was a "reichstag fire" , a tactic historically used a a power grab, a great excuse to round up political enemies and journalists and solidify control over a govt.

  8. Funny how socialism always comes to the point when they realize that it's the money making things work in modern society. Not hands outs and fancy posters.

  9. For all those viewers who were not previously aware the Maduro was preceded by Chavez and other such very basic info presented here, be wary of powerfull folk painting pseudo pictures with none detailed ,surface level information

  10. I don't believe any of this. All middle eastern countries have nothing but oil as well but still are prospering. There's something else happening in the background that has yet to come to the light.

  11. nearly every point made in this video is a completely inaccurate depiction of the reality of what is happening there

  12. The Socialist will steal Everything then sell your country, whats left of it to the Mob. But you voted for your Demise so no Aid from Capitalism.

  13. Yes they a corrupt that's why they economy collapsed the US has nothing to do with that.
    I don't know who they are trying to convince every one in the world knows the truth.
    Give them they money back they are way more educated than you to find a way to get out of this economic crisis you have created.

  14. And everyone know that all is by American sanctions and why any reporter or any person not saying anything to USA gov to not do that for the sake of common peoples and they just did that they didn't sell oil to USA on less price every one know that

  15. USA is responsible for poverty, hunger and the third world in which Central and South America is submerged, United States has been using this countries as a backyard throughout history, paying miseries for their resources, invading every single one of those sovereign countries , if they oppose from been scammed USA steal their oil and resources.
    Another reason why Latin America is ruined is because of loans granted by the US, unplayable loans, with interest so high to keep them submissive and dependent of USA.
    Another way in which the United States usually threaten Central and South America is imposing sanctions so other countries are afraid and keep their heads down to USA.
    China and Russia are Hope for the poor and developing nations
    the North American mafia has been scamming Latinoamerican countries for centuries.
    The United States is a threat to the security of humanity, Trump is going to cause a nuclear world war, it is time for the world to wake up, take off the blindfold and stop being the vassals of the United States. Start to de-dollarize the economies and join China and Russia.

  16. If we care so much about the people of Venezuela, why not just completely lift all the sanctions? That would save a lot of lives and help a lot of people there.

  17. VENEZUELA is a sample of what happen when laziness is normal. You still want to live like you had money. And truth is that you dont have money they think they deserve food housing etc with no effort.

  18. ohh ya socialism works but its "corrupt people" who always turn it bad. Thats the core of the problem, the government should not not be in the business of business. Let the market decide who gets what, thats the only system that works.

  19. Look what happened the last time the us said Freedom and democracy for the people of an oil rich country. long live venezuela.

  20. Kick American Democracy to the worse hell . Start to make gold coin .Gold is real but paper money is nothing but valueless paper What will happen if Venezuela start to use gold coin instead of paper money?

  21. It is quite interesting how the only stable nations in the Americas are the US and Canada. Huh…
    Lift the sanctions if it is too bad. :((( Oh you can't tho right?

  22. Vultures from all around the world are just waiting for Venezuela to collapse. Russia, the USA, gulf countries like the Saudis, Turkey and China. They don't care about Venezuelans, they just care about the biggest oil reserves in the world.

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