(Bloomberg) – The Venezuelan government turned to Ecuador’s former Finance Minister Patricio Rivera as an advisor for relations with the country’s foreign investors, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Rivera, a former adviser to socialist leader Rafael Correa, assists Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez in dealing with the country’s creditors, including bilateral and multilateral banks, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. In recent years, he has advised the government on economic issues.
The appointment shows a greater interest on the part of Venezuela to reestablish talks with bondholders and press for the relief of US sanctions for the restructuring of approximately US $ 60,000 million of debt in default. Rodríguez, who is also the Minister of the Economy and Finance, is prohibited from speaking to US investors due to current sanctions.
Rodríguez did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and attempts to contact Rivera were unsuccessful.
Rivera is no stranger to contentious conversations with creditors. He took over as Ecuador’s finance minister in 2010, shortly after the Correa government defaulted on its debt. Rivera reintroduced the country to the capital markets and became a familiar face in Washington and Wall Street. When he was the coordinating minister for Economic Policy in 2015, Ecuador paid a full bond for the first time in the country’s history. Rivera left office in November 2017.
The potential aid from multilateral agencies is complicated by the fact that the Biden Administration officially recognizes the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaidó, as interim president of Venezuela until there are free and fair elections.
After falling into default at the end of 2017, Venezuela’s debt is trading at about 10 cents on the dollar. Recently, a group of creditors holding the bonds due in 2025 demanded the full payment of interest and principal due in a process known as acceleration.
Besieged by sanctions, the government of President Nicolás Maduro has tried to lift certain controls and restrictions on the economy to face a severe cash crisis. Dollars are now widely accepted alongside the national currency, and some state-owned companies have been turned over to closely aligned private entrepreneurs.
Nota Original:Venezuela Taps Former Ecuador Minister as Financial Adviser
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