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Over the weekend, a report in the Wall Street Journal said that Goldman has paid 31 cents on the US dollar for the bonds issued by PDVSA the state owned oil company that mature during 2022 or approximately $865 million while citing five people that were familiar with the bonds' transaction. In its original statement, the bank said: "We recognize that the situation is complex and evolving and that Venezuela is in crisis".

- Protests and more protests -On Wednesday some 5,000 protesters clashed with police when they tried to march to the foreign ministry headquarters in a demo aimed at coinciding with an Organization of American States meeting on Venezuela.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was denounced by the head of Venezuela's legislature over a report that the bank bought $2.8 billion of bonds from that country, potentially helping President Nicolas Maduro's administration amid accusations of human-rights violations.

"It is apparent Goldman Sachs decided to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people", Borges said in a letter sent to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Goldman Sachs's asset-management unit bought the securities, sold by Petroleos de Venezuela SA, through a broker and had no interaction with the government, the New York-based firm said in a statement.

Goldman has been steadily increasing its Venezuelan holdings in recent months, betting that a change in government and reforms to its economy could more than double the value of the debt.

Anti-government protests have intensified in Venezuela for two months and left almost 60 people dead.

Venezuelan opposition accuses the government of mismanaging the oil-rich country, causing severe shortages of basic consumer goods.

He has also drawn worldwide condemnation for abuses of power and human rights violations.

Another opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, alleged that he and his entourage were "ambushed" and beaten by the Venezuelan National Guard at a protest in the capital, Caracas.

One of the country's main opposition leaders said Goldman's deal will "strengthen the brutal repression unleashed against the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans peacefully protesting".

PDVSA is a state-operated oil company in Venezuela.

Last month, lawmakers reached out to big Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, asking them not to help the country monetize its $7.7 billion in gold reserves.

For its part, Goldman insists that its investment in the state-owned oil company of a government that's plunged its people into political turmoil and economic devastation is extremely ethical.

But some analysts suggest the government may be able to raise new money through private transactions, like the one with Goldman, that rely on selling existing bonds through the secondary market.

That's not to say that Goldman's investment is without a risk. Maduro himself would probably say this transaction is a flawless example of the "savage capitalism" he says he despises.


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