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Venezuela living on the edge

Venezuela's national oil company is under pressure from low prices, plummeting output and several self-inflicted wounds

When news broke in May that Goldman Sachs bought up nearly $3bn in Venezuelan state oil company PdV bonds from the country's Central Bank through a London-based broker, the backlash was intense. Protesters gathered outside the bank's headquarters, accusing the company of extending a financial lifeline to an increasingly autocratic and brutish government. Opposition politicians vowed not to repay the bonds if they take power. That prompted a surreal scene in which socialist vice president Tareck El Aissami vowed to sue the opposition leader for threatening the Manhattan megabank. Goldman Sachs defended itself, hinting that it was betting on a regime change. Life in Venezuela "has to get bette

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