Venezuelan opposition asks Citibank to delay gold repurchase


By Mayela Armas
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Opposition leader Juan Guaido has asked Citibank to delay by 120 days Venezuela's scheduled repurchase of gold that President Nicolas Maduro's government put up as collateral for a loan in 2015, three members of the team advising Guaido said.

Advisers to Guaido, who has been recognized by most Western nations as Venezuela's legitimate head of state, have met with Citibank officials to ask them to hold off claiming the gold that Maduro's cash-strapped government committed to give up if it failed to pay off the loan by its March due date.

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One of the sources told Reuters that Citibank has not yet informed them whether it will agree to the request. A Citibank spokesperson declined to comment. Venezuela's Information Ministry and the central bank did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the loan and its own discussions with Citibank, if any.

The request is part of the opposition's strategy to safeguard Venezuela's foreign assets and prevent the socialist Maduro government from selling off gold reserves to raise hard currency amid tightening sanctions. ...

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