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To misquote John Maynard Keynes: if you’re owed a few million, it’s your debtor’s problem, but if you’re owed billions it’s your problem. And China is owed a cool $50bn by Venezuela in loans made in prepayment for crude deliveries according to Reuters: the FT puts the total owed at $65bn.
Venezuela has never consistently delivered the full contractual volumes envisaged under the 2008 loans-for-oil deal. With the country’s output and exports falling, and the collapse in oil prices implying much higher volumes for the same (financial) repayment, there is no chance of it being able to meet repayments with oil alone.
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