According to Venezuelan economist, Jose Guerra, a Russian Boeing 777 that landed in Caracas on Monday was there to take 20 tons of Venezuela’s gold out of the country.
The news has sent social media sites into a spin of outrage and skepticism.
The claim has been made without proof, leading many to believe Guerra is simply causing a stir.
But some are not so sure.
According to Bloomberg, the claim could very well be true as “Guerra is a former central bank economist who remains in touch with old colleagues there.”
Also, “a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News Tuesday that 20 tons of gold have been set aside in the central bank for loading.”
The gold in question would be worth approximately $840 million USD. It tallies about 20% of Venezuela’s gold holdings.
The plane that landed at the international airport near Caracas belonged to Nordwind Airlines, a popular Russian charter operator based in Moscow. As such, many believe that the gold—if it has been loaded onto the plane—is destined for Russia.
However, a Nordwind spokesman declined to comment on the purpose of the flight.
Venezuela’s Finance Minister Simon Zerpa stated there was no Russian plane at the airport and also declined to comment on Venezuela’s gold.
It seems he believes the story to be a fabrication for scaremongering, saying:
“I’m going to start bringing Russian and Turkish airplanes every week so everybody gets scared.”
Venezuela is one of the biggest recipients of Russian loans and investment in recent years. Russia also vows to do all it can to protect President Maduro from US efforts to oust him from power.
Further, a top Russian finance minister warned that Venezuela could have trouble meeting repayments from a $3.15 billion debt-rescheduling deal reached in 2017. The next installment of $100 million is due in March. The ministry later retracted the statement, however, saying it did, in fact, expect the country to meet its payments.
Do you think Venezuela’s gold has gone to Russia? Or is this simply an outlandish comment made to draw attention to the crisis-ridden country?
Featured Image: Pixabay