To support Guaido, the United States has initiated a series of sanctions to prevent Maduro's oil sales from the state-run company PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A) and to direct money into accounts controlled by Guaido.
Meanwhile, Venezuela supports two largest creditors, China and Russia Maduro and keeps an eye on what they owe. Cuba has also strengthened the regime by sending thousands of security forces in exchange for free oil.
Rampant inflation has made Venezuelan currency almost useless and oil is the main way to repay creditors. The problem is that its oil supply is only valuable when it can be extracted and processed, and its tiny infrastructure can simply not produce enough oil to serve as security against the entire debt book.
"The total debt is more than six times the annual export. In fact, the ratio is getting much worse this year with the export decline. No one expects Venezuela to pay its debts and the situation is very poor compared to the number of barrels that actually generate cash flow. "Francisco J. Monaldi, the Latin American energy fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute in Houston, Texas, tells me.
Monaldi notes that even economically affected southern Sudan has a much better debt-to-export ratio.
Those who end up in the Venezuelan Presidency will face large sums of debt that will be difficult to repay, even if oil production ramps rapidly. "The problem of reporting the Venezuelan debt is that there are very different estimates. It is at least 130-100 billion dollars, but it can be up to $ 160 billion depending on how you add all the arbitration, decisions against Venezuela, the money that Venezuela is guilty of airlines and others, "says Monaldi.
"Mortgaged to the Hilt"
Overall, Venezuela can owe China more than $ 55 billion and Russia at least $ 17 billion, Moises Rendon estimates, former Venezuelan banking analyst who is now Associate Director of the Americas program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, DC
And the Maduro regime has not considered how to raise foreign currency by pumping more oil for sale for dollars on the open market without triggering cling from its creditors owed to even more oil.
"The Maduro government does not control Citgo anymore, so they will not pay," Monaldi predicts, referring to US compulsory takeover of the Citgo board by Guaido loyalists. "The Russians have a harder hand. They have to convince a (US) judge to let them sell the shares to get back." Citgo in Houston refused to return emails or phone calls requests.
PDVSA itself has more than $ 40 billion in outstanding debt, much of which is now in arrears. It is unlikely that a Maduro or Guaido government can or would repay PDVSA loans anytime soon to companies that support and supply oil drilling services, shipping and marketing.
"For the Chinese in particular, if you ever want to pay back the money that Venezuela owes you, would you not be better able to handle a new government that is solvent than the Maduro government?" says Verrastro.
Joel Guedes, an energy consultant with IPD Latin America who worked for PDVSA for more than two decades, tells me that one important issue is: "Can a Guaidó-controlled government offer China and Russia a better repayment plan?" 19659029] Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido speaks at a meeting of the Caracas Chamber of Commerce. "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190516144329-guaido-celebra-cese-embajada-washington-venezuela-small-169.jpg "data-src-xsmall =" / /cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190516144329-guaido-celebra-cese-embajada-washington-venezuela-medium-plus-169.jpg "data-src-small =" http: //cdn.cnn. com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 190516144329-guaido-celebra-cum-embajada-washington-venezuela-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190516144329 -guaido-celebra-cese-embajada-washington-venezuela-exlarge-169.jpg "data-src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190516144329-guaido-celebra-cese-embajada– washington-venezuela-super-169.jpg "data-src-full16x9 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190516144329-guaido-celebra-cese-embajada-washington-venezuela-full-169.jpg "data-src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190516144329-guaido-celebra-cese-embajada-washington-venezuela-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not -loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "src =" data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP /////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>