PSUV vice president Diosado Cabello announced in a television address this evening that the regime was purchasing Banesco, Venezuela’s largest private bank. Cabello revealed that talks for the purchase would take place this week, and suggested that the purchase was a done deal.
Cabello made the announcement by saying:
This week we’re going to start the negotiation for buying Banesco. We’re going to buy Banesco. Banesco is on sale. Real cheap. Really, it’s cheap.
Cabello said that the bank was on sale for a mere $3.5 million, and that Caracas would make its formal offer for the takeover this week. Founded in 1992, Banesco is the largest private bank in Venezuela.
Cabello continued, explaining that Maduro was involved in the deal and joking that Caracas was eager to finalize the sale as soon as possible:
I told president [Maduro] about this, and he’s totally willing to buy Banesco at this price of $3.4 million. Where do we make the deposit, [Banesco CEO Juan Carlos] Escotet?
It’s not clear which of the two figures cited by Cabello–$3.5 million and $3.4 million–reflects the sale price for the bank.
True to fashion, Cabello also took the opportunity to threaten the Escotet with prosecution for alleged crimes, alluding to private business deals that he has supposedly made. Cabello said:
Where did he get the dollars to buy the banks that he has in Spain, in Panama, in Miami? Did he get them from planting corn? Raising chickens? I have a job for you, [attorney general] Tarek [William Saab], that I can hand over to you…
Journalists Cite Internal Sources, Dismiss Banesco Sale
As Cabello made the announcement regarding the Banesco purchase live on television this evening, several journalists took to Twitter to dismiss Cabello’s claims citing internal sources at the bank.
One such journalist was Caterina Valentino, who reacted to Cabello’s comments with the following tweet:
Some consulted sources in Banesco are saying that the bank is not for sale.
Isnardo Bravo, another journalist, reacted to the news with skepticism, citing Cabello’s colourful history of making wild, unsubstantiated claims. Bravo said:
Since Cabello’s credibility is a bit questionable–not a lot–we must wait to see what Banesco says.
Cabello reacted to the journalists’ comments by reading them on the air and taunting them by saying:
None of them watch this show, but now they’re going around like crazy writing about Banesco.
Regime-Opposition Talks Set to Resume Tomorrow
The ruling PSUV party and the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) opposition bloc are set to resume talks tomorrow in the Dominican Republic as part of an ongoing attempt to defuse the political crisis in the country.
Dominican foreign affairs minister Miguel Vargas issued a statement on the talks today, saying that he hoped that the two sides would “reach a definitive agreement” at tomorrow’s meting. Among the opposition’s demands are the immediate release of all political prisoners in the country and guarantees for free and fair presidential elections this year, while the PSUV is demanding that the opposition recognize Maduro’s Constituent Assembly as a legitimate organization.
Hungry Venezuelans Scrape Flour Off Road
A video circulating on social media this evening appears to show a large group of people scraping corn flour off a road. The video was allegedly taken in Barlovento, Miranda state some time today.
Below, the video:
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