Gold Rush: Maduro’s Quest to Empty Venezuela’s Reserves

Maduro UAE

This post was last updated on September 12th, 2019 at 01:47 pm

Blowing away the national reserves in a frenzy, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has indulged in a cold war against the Trump administration; making new friends along the way to let his ship sailing

After the US announced additional round of sanctions to oust Maduro, piles of gold have been emptied by the autocrat to generate hefty cash and remain in charge of his position. Venezuela reportedly sold about $400 million in gold, despite a growing international outrage to freeze the country’s assets.

The sale meant that endeavor of the US sanctions was harmed indirectly, with Maduro’s friends – United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Russia trading behind closed doors to stab the US in the back. The amount of gold, which was approximately 9 tons, was reflected by a fall in the bank’s total reserve falling to $8.6 billion on April 12.

The US along with 51 other countries already recognizes Juan Guaido as the interim President. The nation, however, to take a further grip on the autocratic reign of Maduro, even sanctioned the state gold producer Minerven, last month. It said that ground military already in control of Maduro, further keeps them in control because of the lucrative metal.

President Maduro blew through more than 40 percent of Venezuela’s gold reserves last year, with a desperate bid to pay billions in debt to the shareholders. Interestingly, this bid for gold was accepted widely by the US’ close ally UAE, and Turkey. The government sold a total of 73 tons of gold to two firms based in UAE and another in Turkey, opposition lawmaker Carlos Paparoni told reporters in Caracas.

“We are going to ask for the collaboration of the countries that have recognized President Guaido to try to stop all the financial actions based on gold, preventing them from stealing the money is our priority,” Paparoni said in an interview with Reuters.

However, as the debt went higher and higher, the reserve went lower and lower- compromising the basis of survival in the nation. Nonetheless, it did not stop Maduro from selling the gold and the UAE from accepting it. As a fact, the autocrat led the gold-taps open, which resulted in a leak of 2.34 million ounces of gold.

Of total 73 tons, about 24 tons of the gold was sold to Istanbul’s Sardes Kiymetli Madenler SA, according to Paparoni. Some 27.3 tons to the UAE’s Noor Capital, while the remaining to the Goetz Gold, also based in the Emirates.

As it stands, despite the massive amount of cash lumps generated through the sale of gold, the financial position of Venezuela has only weakened. Primarily, because of the new US sanctions, and secondly because of the depleting reserves.

Nonetheless, what still needs an immediate clarity is the basis on which UAE continues it trade, especially when it enjoys really close ties with the US. Also, with the UAE once again coming into the mix, probability that it is using Venezuela as a proxy battleground has significantly increased.

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