More Chaos For Venezuela

Venezuela is descending into chaos, the crisis has deepend. - Chaganomics

U.S. flights to Venezuela are being suspended due to safety and security concerns, officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday. - ABC News

The political and economic crisis deepened over the past month. On 30 April, opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for a military uprising to remove President Nicolás Maduro from office. The attempt, however, failed as it did not attract meaningful military support, raising uncertainty over the opposition’s future going forward. Meanwhile, oil production took another nosedive in March as widespread power outages and crippling U.S. sanctions took their toll. Production fell a staggering 289,000 barrels per day (bdp) from February, which amounts to an over 36% plunge since January, according to OPEC data. Moreover, U.S. and Canadian authorities announced new sanctions against the Venezuelan government in April, most notably targeting the country’s Central Bank and several high-ranking officials, including the foreign minister. In other news, on 7 May, the opposition-controlled National Assembly authorized a USD 71 million interest payment on PDVSA’s 2020 bond. The failure to pay could have prompted creditors to try to seize a sizeable chunk of shares in its U.S. refining unit Citgo, the country’s most valuable overseas asset.

The outlook remains bleak. Uncertainty remains elevated over what happens next in the political standoff between President Maduro and Juan Guaidó, while successive rounds of sanctions aimed at choking off the government’s access to hard currency worsens the already-dire state of the economy, which has been stuck in deep depression for years. The probability of a political transition remains high, a scenario which some of our panelists have factored into their forecasts.  - Focus Economics

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