TCRLA_Public/190730.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                 L A T I N   A M E R I C A

          Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 151

                           Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

COMPANIA GENERAL: S&P Assigns Prelim 'B' Rating to New Bonds


B R A Z I L

JBS SA: JBS USA Discloses Upsizing & Pricing of Its Notes Offering


C O L O M B I A

[*] COLOMBIA: Organizes Economic and Trade Forum in China


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: China Looks to Highlands for Trade, Investment
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Gov't. Should Not Ignore Slump Indicators


M E X I C O

COATZACOALCOS: Moody's Affirms Caa1 Issuer Rating, Outlook Stable


P U E R T O   R I C O

BED BATH: Egan-Jones Lowers Sr. Unsec. Debt Ratings to BB-
PUERTO RICO: Citizens Worry Political Turmoil May Further Delay Aid
PUERTO RICO: Vasquez Says She Doesn't Want to Be Governor


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: BRICS Foreign Ministers to Discuss Country's Crisis

                           - - - - -


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A R G E N T I N A
=================

COMPANIA GENERAL: S&P Assigns Prelim 'B' Rating to New Bonds
------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings assigned its preliminary 'B' rating to
Argentina-based oil and gas exploration and production (E&P)
company Compania General de Combustibles S.A.'s (CGC) proposed bond
issuance. At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'B-' issuer credit
rating (ICR) on CGC and placed it on CreditWatch with positive
implications.

The CreditWatch positive reflects that there's a high chance that
the company will be able to issue the bond in the next few days,
which will prompt us to upgrade CGC to 'B' with a stable outlook.
The preliminary rating on the proposed senior unsecured notes
reflects that the issuance would materially reduce CGC's
refinancing risk. It also incorporates the imminent upgrade of the
ICR once the transaction becomes effective. In the meantime, S&P's
placing the ICR on CreditWatch positive.

The rating on the notes is preliminary pending their successful
issuance, and assuming that the notes' final terms and conditions
do not differ materially from the draft documents presented to
S&P.




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B R A Z I L
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JBS SA: JBS USA Discloses Upsizing & Pricing of Its Notes Offering
------------------------------------------------------------------
JBS USA Lux S.A. disclosed that it, JBS USA Food Company and JBS
USA Finance, Inc. have successfully priced at par their offering of
$1.25 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes maturing
January 15, 2030 (the "Notes").  The Notes have an interest rate of
5.50%.  The aggregate principal amount of Notes offered was
increased from $1.0 billion.  The offering is expected to close on
August 6, 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.   

JBS USA intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to make
an intercompany loan to JBS S.A ("JBS").  JBS intends to use the
proceeds from the intercompany loan to pay (1) the tender
consideration for any and all of the 7.250% Senior Notes due 2024
(the "JBS S.A. 2024 Notes") and up to $350.0 million of the 6.250%
Senior Notes due 2023 (the "JBS S.A. 2023 Notes"; and together with
the JBS S.A. 2024 Notes, the "Tendered Notes"), issued by JBS
Investments GmbH, tendered in connection with an offer to purchase
and consent solicitation that was disclosed and (2) the redemption
price in connection with any redemption of the JBS S.A. 2024 Notes
that remain outstanding. JBS is expected to use the remaining
proceeds of the intercompany loan for general corporate purposes,
including the repayment of certain debt.

This press release is neither an offer to purchase nor a
solicitation of an offer to sell or buy the Notes or the Tendered
Notes. Any offer to purchase the Tendered Notes will be made solely
on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in a separate
offer to purchase and consent solicitation that will be directed to
holders of the Tendered Notes. There shall not be any sale of the
Notes in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale
would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the
securities laws of such jurisdiction.

The Notes and the guarantees will not be registered under the U.S.
Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or any
state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United
States or to, or for the account or benefit of, any U.S. persons
(as defined in Regulation S of the Securities Act) absent
registration under the Securities Act, or pursuant to an applicable
exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act
and applicable state securities laws. The Notes will be offered
only to "qualified institutional buyers" under Rule 144A of the
Securities Act or, outside the United States, to persons other than
"U.S. persons" in compliance with Regulation S.

JBS USA Holdings, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A.
JBS USA Finance Inc. is a dual issuer special purpose entity,
formed to issue debt securities in order to finance an intercompany
loan to JBS USA Holdings Inc., repay outstanding borrowings under a
revolving facility, and for other general corporate purposes.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on June
19, 2019, Fitch Ratings has upgraded JBS S.A.'s Long-Term Foreign-
and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings and senior unsecured
notes issued by JBS Investments GmbH and JBS Investments II GmbH to
'BB' from 'BB-'. The National Scale rating was upgraded to 'AA+
(bra)' from 'A(bra)'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The upgrade
reflects JBS expected deleveraging and strong free cash flow
generation and improved financial flexibility due to recent
liability management.



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C O L O M B I A
===============

[*] COLOMBIA: Organizes Economic and Trade Forum in China
---------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that some 400 Chinese importers, investors and
representatives of tourism agencies have confirmed that they will
attend the Colombia-China Economic and Trade Forum later in Beijing
and Shanghai, officials said.

The Colombian government is organizing the business event, which
will take place July 30 and July 31 in the two Chinese cities,
according to EFE News.

The report notes that the business forum in China will coincide
with President Ivan Duque's state visit, which started and is aimed
at boosting bilateral trade.

Duque is being accompanied on his visit to China by Trade, Industry
and Tourism Minister Juan Manuel Restrepo; Transportation Minister
Angela Maria Orozco; Agriculture Minister Andres Valencia; Foreign
Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo; and ProColombia trade promotion
agency president Flavia Santoro, the report relays.

"We're going with the goal of leveraging new opportunities that
will allow us to increase Colombian exports to a key market, like
China's, which takes 11 percent of global imports annually and
which Colombia can offer products like food and ready-to-wear
clothing," Santoro said in a statement obtained by the news
agency.

ProColombia has identified export opportunities in the flower;
processed and exotic fruits; pork; coffee; underwear; swimwear; and
natural cosmetics sectors, among others, the report relays.

Colombia also wants to "attract more tourists and investors" from
China since the Asian nation invests about $124 billion annually
and its business leaders have expressed "great interest in
Colombia, especially in sectors like infrastructure, energy and
telecommunications," Santoro said, the report notes.

The report discloses that China has a population that exceeds 1.3
billion and a government that seeks to adjust its balance of trade
position by increasing imports.

The Asian giant also boasts rising consumer spending and a growing
middle class, the report relays.

In 2018, Colombia's exports to China outside the mining-energy
category totaled $260.7 million, up 18.4 percent from 2017, the
National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) said, the
report recalls.

Last year, according to the Bank of the Republic of Colombia,
Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled $32.2 million, an
increase of just 0.30 percent compared to 2017, the report says.

During 2018, Colombia welcomed 15,656 travelers from China, a
figure that was up 8 percent from the prior year, the report
notes.

Duque is in Shanghai, where he will stay, when he is scheduled to
travel to Beijing, the report notes.

"We're very happy to start this visit to China. We came to open up
the market to Colombian exports. We want to open the market for
meat and increase imports (by China) of coffee, bananas, of Hass
avocados," the president told reporters, the report adds.



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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: China Looks to Highlands for Trade, Investment
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the Dominican-China Chamber of
Commerce and the Chinese Mission in the country held a meeting with
leaders of the agro and tourism clusters, and business leaders as
well, to present investment and trade exchanges between Constanza
and the Asian country.

Dominican-China Chamber president, Roberto Santana headed the
activity, with chamber vice president Helen Yang, and executives
How Xionwen, and William Silva, according to Dominican Today.

Mr. Santana outlined the policy on trade and Chinese investments in
different countries of the world and stressed the need for
Constanza producers to "open their doors to the varied
possibilities offered by this country for the development of
business projects and trade in the agricultural, floriculture,
tourism, and artisanal areas," the report notes.

                    About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island
of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Capital city Santo Domingo
has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America
dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on April 4,
2019 that the Dominican Today related that Juan Del Rosario of the
UASD Economic Faculty cited a current economic slowdown for the
Dominican Republic and cautioned that if the trend continues,
growth would reach only 4% by 2023. Mr. Del Rosario said that if
that happens, "we'll face difficulties in meeting international
commitments."

An ongoing concern in the Dominican Republic is the inability of
participants in the electricity sector to establish financial
viability for the system.

Standard & Poor's credit rating for Dominican Republic stands at
BB- with stable outlook (2015). Moody's credit rating for Dominican
Republic was last set at Ba3 with stable outlook (2017). Fitch's
credit rating for Dominican Republic was last reported at BB- with
stable outlook (2016).

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Gov't. Should Not Ignore Slump Indicators
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the Herrera National Companies and
Industries Association (ANEIH) called on the Dominican Government
not to neglect, and continue its actions to counter the slowdown
indicators reported by the Central Bank in June, as the positive
measures to release the bank reserve for the productive, retail and
construction sectors.

ANEIH president, Leonel Castellanos Duarte, expects those funds
will reach the sectors for which they were intended and the
purposes of improving working capital and investment and that those
sectors "do not use it for the refinancing of debts or that most of
these resources go to corporate groups," according to Dominican
Today.

Mr. Castellanos added that it's necessary to reposition the tourism
promotion strategy, through joint initiatives with the private
sector since the economic indicators for the month of June,
compared to the same period of 2018, indicate a 2.5% decrease in
tourist arrivals, observing a fall of European tourists of 11.4%,
added to a decrease of Latin American tourism of 3.4% and that of
Canada by 6.2%," the report notes.

                    About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island
of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Capital city Santo Domingo
has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America
dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on April 4,
2019 that the Dominican Today related that Juan Del Rosario of the
UASD Economic Faculty cited a current economic slowdown for the
Dominican Republic and cautioned that if the trend continues,
growth would reach only 4% by 2023. Mr. Del Rosario said that if
that happens, "we'll face difficulties in meeting international
commitments."

An ongoing concern in the Dominican Republic is the inability of
participants in the electricity sector to establish financial
viability for the system.

Standard & Poor's credit rating for Dominican Republic stands at
BB- with stable outlook (2015). Moody's credit rating for Dominican
Republic was last set at Ba3 with stable outlook (2017). Fitch's
credit rating for Dominican Republic was last reported at BB- with
stable outlook (2016).



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M E X I C O
===========

COATZACOALCOS: Moody's Affirms Caa1 Issuer Rating, Outlook Stable
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's de Mexico affirmed the caa1 baseline credit assessment and
the issuer ratings of the Municipality of Coatzacoalcos at
Caa1/B2.mx (Global Scale, local currency/Mexico National Scale) and
changed the outlook to stable from negative.

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR THE STABLE OUTLOOK

The change in the outlook to stable from negative reflects the
municipality's improved liquidity position with the improvement in
its cash financing balance, along with continued operating
surpluses. In 2018, the cash financing balance increased to 4.4% of
the total revenues, a figure that contrasts with the --8.2% average
over 2014-2017. The municipality's gross operating balance has
continued its positive performance, reaching 15% in 2018. As a
consequence, Coatzacoalcos' liquidity has improved and maintained a
stable level with a cash to current liabilities ratio of 0.14 times
(x) over 2017-2018, compared with 0.006x registered over 2014-2016.
While this is an improvement in Coatzacoalcos' liquidity, Moody's
notes that liquidity levels continue to be low and represent the
main credit challenge for the municipality.

Moody's expects Coatzacoalcos' financial and operating balances
will maintain a similar trend over the next 12-18 months, standing
at an average of 2.9% of total revenues and 14.1% of operating
revenues, figures that are in line with other Caa1 Mexican peers.
This will result in a stable liquidity position projected at an
average of 0.11x over the same period. The entity has not made use
of short-term debt in the last two years, which has attenuated some
of the credit pressure arising from the municipality's low
liquidity position.

RATIONALE FOR THE AFFIRMATION OF THE RATING

The affirmation of Coatzacoalcos' Caa1/B2.mx ratings reflects a
level of indebtedness in line with other Mexican peers rated at
Caa1. It also incorporates the absence of contingencies related to
its water company and pensions, since the State of Veracruz is
responsible for providing these services. In 2018, Coatzacoalcos'
net direct and indirect debt was equivalent to 40.6% of operating
revenues. For 2019-20, Moody's estimates that its net direct and
indirect debt will decrease to an average of 36%.

As per the application of Moody's Joint Default Analysis
methodology for regional and local governments, Coatzacoalcos'
assigned baseline credit assessment (BCA) is caa1. The final rating
of Caa1 incorporates Moody's assessment of a low likelihood of
support from the State of Veracruz (B3/B1.mx stable).

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP OR DOWN

If the municipality were to demonstrate a consistent improvement in
its liquidity while maintaining positive and stable operating and
financial balances, the ratings could face upward pressure.
Conversely, if liquidity were to deteriorate and the municipality
return to the use of short-term debt, the ratings could face
downward pressure.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Regional and
Local Governments published in January 2018.



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P U E R T O   R I C O
=====================

BED BATH: Egan-Jones Lowers Sr. Unsec. Debt Ratings to BB-
----------------------------------------------------------
Egan-Jones Ratings Company, on July 15, 2019, downgraded the
foreign currency and local currency senior unsecured ratings on
debt issued by Bed Bath & Beyond Incorporated to BB- from BB+.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is a North American chain of domestic
merchandise retail stores. Bed Bath & Beyond operates stores in the
United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. Bed Bath & Beyond
was founded in 1971. It is currently part of the S&P 500 and Global
1200 Indices.

PUERTO RICO: Citizens Worry Political Turmoil May Further Delay Aid
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Nick Brown at Reuters reports that many people on the island of
Puerto Rico are fretting at signs that recent political turmoil
could further hinder the arrival of desperately-needed federal aid
from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The nonprofit All Hands and Hearts arrived in January 2018, to fix
roofs in the rural town where Hurricane Maria made its first, most
damaging landfall, notes the report.

"We kept an open-door policy," partnership manager Nicole Franks
said at the group's makeshift compound in an old schoolhouse,
according to Reuters.  "We said: 'If you need help, come put your
name on our list'" the report quoted Mr. Franks as saying.

Some 750 homeowners did just that. But nearly two years later, more
than half are still waiting for help, Mr. Franks said, notes the
report.

The volunteer-based organization can only move so fast. And while
many homeowners have applied for aid from the FEMA, it has been
hard to come by in a town whose barrios lack street names and
addresses, and many residents lack title to their homes.  "There's
still a lot of work to be done," Franks said, the report relays.

Indeed, throughout Puerto Rico, 2017's Hurricane Maria remains a
reality, not a memory, as recovery has been slow, notes the
report.

At a July 22 press conference, U.S. President Donald Trump
suggested Puerto Rico cannot be trusted to manage federal aid,
saying it was "in the hands of incompetent people and very corrupt
people," the report relays.

Two days later, Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico's nonvoting member
of Congress and a fellow Republican, proposed appointing a "federal
coordinator" to provide "direct federal oversight" over Puerto
Rico's recovery, the report notes.

It is not just Maria funds: earlier this month, the Democratic-led
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health added language to
a broader medical spending bill that would increase oversight on
$12 billion of Medicaid funding to Puerto Rico.  Seven Republican
senators, in a letter to U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary
Alex Azar, demanded more transparency about Puerto Rico's use of
those funds, Reuters relays.

Oversight efforts may receive a push from holders of the island's
$120 billion of debt, the report notes.  "It's encouraging," said
one creditor source, who declined to be named in order to speak
frankly.  "Making sure money goes where it's intended on the island
benefits citizens and the economy," the source added.

Such rhetoric is concerning to people like Eduardo Bhatia, a Puerto
Rico senator and member of the opposition party, who is running for
governor in 2020, the report relays.

Ongoing unrest "will have an enormous adverse effect on federal
officials disbursing" aid, Bhatia said,  the report notes.
"Hundreds of thousands of poor families are suffering . . . The
question for me and the leadership of Puerto Rico is how to restore
that credibility."

The federal government's hurricane response is seen among locals as
too slow already, the report discloses.  Puerto Rico Governor
Ricardo Rossello's government requested some $94 billion in relief
from Washington, while the U.S. Congress has allocated $42.3
billion, of which only $12.6 billion had been disbursed, according
to a May report by San Juan-based think-tank the Center for a New
Economy, the report relays.

Reuters discloses that Trump fueled local anger by waiting 13 days
to visit Puerto Rico after Maria, as opposed to the four-day wait
times after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, 2017's two other major
storms. Earlier this year, he threatened to divert funds from
Puerto Rico to help pay for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

FEMA has acknowledged its own missteps, saying in an internal
report last year it was understaffed and did not have enough
supplies on the island prior to the storm, the report notes.

But the delays in help arise from local problems, as well.

As many as half of Puerto Rico's 1.2 million housing units are
thought to lack official title, making it more difficult to qualify
for FEMA repair aid, the report says.

And the Rossello administration has come under fire for scenes of
rotting food in trailers that never left port, and for being too
slow in distributing aid through a nonprofit championed by First
Lady Beatriz Rossello, the report relays.  Local media have
reported Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez--who could replace
Rossello in the governor's mansion--refused to investigate some of
these problems, the report notes.

Oversight on federal dollars is not a bad thing if it means aid
continues to flow, said Jose Caraballo Cueto, an economist and
professor at the University of Puerto Rico, the report relays.  His
fear, though, is that federal lawmakers will drag their feet
fighting about it, stalling its arrival altogether, the report
discloses.

"That's what has happened in the past, and that was before the
protests, before the corruption," Caraballo Cueto said, the report
says.

Carmen Baez, founder of nonprofit PRxPR, said she sees Rossello's
ouster, in the long-term, as a "cleansing," but one that comes with
a price for Puerto Rico's poorest, the report notes.

"The most disadvantaged victims of Hurricane Maria are now the ones
that are further suffering under the burden of politics," she said.
"If the federal aid was limited and slow before, now it will be
worse," she added.

                      About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth in association with
the United States that's facing a massive bond debt of $70 billion,
a 68% debt-to-GDP ratio and negative economic growth in nine of the
last 10 years.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has sought bankruptcy protection,
aiming to restructure its massive $74 billion debt-load and $49
billion in pension obligations.

The debt restructuring petition was filed by Puerto Rico's
financial oversight board in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico
(Case No. 17-01578) on May 3, 2017, and was made under Title III of
2016's U.S. Congressional rescue law known as the Puerto Rico
Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act ('PROMESA').

The Financial Oversight and Management Board later commenced Title
III cases for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation
(COFINA) on May 5, 2017, and the Employees Retirement System (ERS)
and the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA) on
May 21, 2017.  On July 2, 2017, a Title III case was commenced for
the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority ("PREPA").

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed U.S. District Judge
Laura Taylor Swain to oversee the Title III cases.  The Honorable
Judith Dein, a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of
Massachusetts, has been designated to preside over matters that may
be referred to her by Judge Swain, including discovery disputes,
and management of other pretrial proceedings.

Joint administration of the Title III cases, under Lead Case No.
17-3283, was granted on June 29, 2017.

The Oversight Board has hired as advisors, Proskauer Rose LLP and
O'Neill & Borges LLC as legal counsel, McKinsey & Co. as strategic
consultant, Citigroup Global Markets, as municipal investment
banker, and Ernst & Young, as financial advisor.

Martin J. Bienenstock, Esq., Scott K. Rutsky, Esq., and Philip M.
Abelson, Esq., of Proskauer Rose; and Hermann D. Bauer, Esq., at
O'Neill & Borges are on-board as attorneys.

McKinsey & Co. is the Board's strategic consultant, Ernst & Young
is the Board's financial advisor, and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
is the Board's municipal investment banker.

Prime Clerk LLC is the claims and noticing agent.  Prime Clerk
maintains a case web site at
https://cases.primeclerk.com/puertorico

Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC is the service agent for ERS, HTA,
and PREPA.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is counsel to the Commonwealth's Puerto Rico
Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF), the agency
responsible for negotiations with bondholders.

The Oversight Board named Professor Nancy B. Rapoport as fee
examiner and to chair a committee to review professionals' fees.

                    Bondholders' Attorneys

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Toro, Colon, Mullet, Rivera
& Sifre, P.S.C. and serve as counsel to the Mutual Fund Group,
comprised of mutual funds managed by Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., and
the First Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which collectively hold over
$4.4 billion of GO Bonds, COFINA Bonds, and other bonds issued by
Puerto Rico and other instrumentalities.

White & Case LLP and Lopez Sanchez & Pirillo LLC represent the UBS
Family of Funds and the Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which hold
$613.3 million in COFINA bonds.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Robbins, Russell,
Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP, and Jimenez, Graffam &
Lausell are co-counsel to the ad hoc group of General Obligation
Bondholders, comprised of Aurelius Capital Management, LP, Autonomy
Capital (Jersey) LP, FCO Advisors LP, and Monarch Alternative
Capital LP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Reichard & Escalera are
co-counsel to the ad hoc coalition of holders of senior bonds
issued by COFINA, comprised of at least 30 institutional holders,
including Canyon Capital Advisors LLC and Varde Investment
Partners, L.P.

Correa Acevedo & Abesada Law Offices, P.S.C., is counsel to Canyon
Capital Advisors, LLC, River Canyon Fund Management, LLC, Davidson
Kempner Capital Management LP, OZ Management, LP, and OZ Management
II LP (the QTCB Noteholder Group).

                          Committees

The U.S. Trustee formed an official committee of retirees and an
official committee of unsecured creditors of the Commonwealth.  The
Retiree Committee tapped Jenner & Block LLP and Bennazar, Garcia &
Milian, C.S.P., as its attorneys.  The Creditors Committee tapped
Paul Hastings LLP and O'Neill & Gilmore LLC as counsel.

PUERTO RICO: Vasquez Says She Doesn't Want to Be Governor
---------------------------------------------------------
Nick Brown at Reuters reports that the woman in line to be the
governor of Puerto Rico after Ricardo Rossello steps down said she
does not want the job running the U.S. territory.

Rossello said he will step down on Aug. 2 in the face of mass
street protests and public outrage over the release of profane chat
messages and embezzlement charges against two former administration
officials, according to Reuters.

Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez is next in line to succeed
Rossello as governor because Puerto Rico currently has no secretary
of state, who would have precedence. But she said she had no
interest in taking the reins, the report relays.

"I hope the governor identifies and submits a candidate for
secretary of state before Aug. 2 and I have told him as much,"
Vazquez wrote on Twitter, the report notes.

Protesters who forced Rossello from office had opposed Vazquez,
saying she is too close to the disgraced governor, the report
relays.

Puerto Rico's previous secretary of state, Luis Rivera Marin,
resigned in the wake of the chat scandal, the report discloses.

Three people now look to be in the strongest positions to succeed
Rossello: Pedro Pierluisi, a former Puerto Rico representative in
the U.S. Congress and now an attorney with Washington law firm
O'Neill & Borges; Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz; and
Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico's current delegate to the U.S.
Congress, the report relays.

Puerto Ricans want a leader to steer them out of crisis and
economic recession after back-to-back 2017 hurricanes that killed
around 3,000 people just months after the U.S. territory filed for
bankruptcy, the report adds.

                      About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth in association with
the United States that's facing a massive bond debt of $70 billion,
a 68% debt-to-GDP ratio and negative economic growth in nine of the
last 10 years.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has sought bankruptcy protection,
aiming to restructure its massive $74 billion debt-load and $49
billion in pension obligations.

The debt restructuring petition was filed by Puerto Rico's
financial oversight board in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico
(Case No. 17-01578) on May 3, 2017, and was made under Title III of
2016's U.S. Congressional rescue law known as the Puerto Rico
Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act ('PROMESA').

The Financial Oversight and Management Board later commenced Title
III cases for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation
(COFINA) on May 5, 2017, and the Employees Retirement System (ERS)
and the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA) on
May 21, 2017.  On July 2, 2017, a Title III case was commenced for
the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority ("PREPA").

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed U.S. District Judge
Laura Taylor Swain to oversee the Title III cases.  The Honorable
Judith Dein, a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of
Massachusetts, has been designated to preside over matters that may
be referred to her by Judge Swain, including discovery disputes,
and management of other pretrial proceedings.

Joint administration of the Title III cases, under Lead Case No.
17-3283, was granted on June 29, 2017.

The Oversight Board has hired as advisors, Proskauer Rose LLP and
O'Neill & Borges LLC as legal counsel, McKinsey & Co. as strategic
consultant, Citigroup Global Markets, as municipal investment
banker, and Ernst & Young, as financial advisor.

Martin J. Bienenstock, Esq., Scott K. Rutsky, Esq., and Philip M.
Abelson, Esq., of Proskauer Rose; and Hermann D. Bauer, Esq., at
O'Neill & Borges are on-board as attorneys.

McKinsey & Co. is the Board's strategic consultant, Ernst & Young
is the Board's financial advisor, and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
is the Board's municipal investment banker.

Prime Clerk LLC is the claims and noticing agent.  Prime Clerk
maintains a case web site at
https://cases.primeclerk.com/puertorico

Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC is the service agent for ERS, HTA,
and PREPA.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is counsel to the Commonwealth's Puerto Rico
Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF), the agency
responsible for negotiations with bondholders.

The Oversight Board named Professor Nancy B. Rapoport as fee
examiner and to chair a committee to review professionals' fees.

                    Bondholders' Attorneys

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Toro, Colon, Mullet, Rivera
& Sifre, P.S.C. and serve as counsel to the Mutual Fund Group,
comprised of mutual funds managed by Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., and
the First Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which collectively hold over
$4.4 billion of GO Bonds, COFINA Bonds, and other bonds issued by
Puerto Rico and other instrumentalities.

White & Case LLP and Lopez Sanchez & Pirillo LLC represent the UBS
Family of Funds and the Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which hold
$613.3 million in COFINA bonds.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Robbins, Russell,
Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP, and Jimenez, Graffam &
Lausell are co-counsel to the ad hoc group of General Obligation
Bondholders, comprised of Aurelius Capital Management, LP, Autonomy
Capital (Jersey) LP, FCO Advisors LP, and Monarch Alternative
Capital LP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Reichard & Escalera are
co-counsel to the ad hoc coalition of holders of senior bonds
issued by COFINA, comprised of at least 30 institutional holders,
including Canyon Capital Advisors LLC and Varde Investment
Partners, L.P.

Correa Acevedo & Abesada Law Offices, P.S.C., is counsel to Canyon
Capital Advisors, LLC, River Canyon Fund Management, LLC, Davidson
Kempner Capital Management LP, OZ Management, LP, and OZ Management
II LP (the QTCB Noteholder Group).

                          Committees

The U.S. Trustee formed an official committee of retirees and an
official committee of unsecured creditors of the Commonwealth.  The
Retiree Committee tapped Jenner & Block LLP and Bennazar, Garcia &
Milian, C.S.P., as its attorneys.  The Creditors Committee tapped
Paul Hastings LLP and O'Neill & Gilmore LLC as counsel.



=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================

VENEZUELA: BRICS Foreign Ministers to Discuss Country's Crisis
--------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that the foreign ministers of the BRICS nations --
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- who will meet in
Rio de Janeiro to prepare for their November 13-14 summit in
Brasilia, will take advantage of the gathering to discuss different
issues on the global agenda, including the crisis in Venezuela.

"The thematic agenda is broad and open.  It is expected that the
speeches will deal as a priority with issues of political order and
international security, like international governance and reform of
the United Nations, as well as regional crises and situations,"
according to a guide for the meeting released by the Brazilian
Foreign Ministry, notes EFE News.

Despite the fact that the document does not specifically cite the
Venezuelan economic, political and social crisis, the Brazilian
government on assorted occasions has expressed its interest in
discussing the matter with Russia and China, two of Brasilia's
BRICS partners, the report notes.

While the government of ultrarightist Jair Bolsonaro since January
has recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, Moscow
and Beijing still support President Nicolas Maduro, the report
says.

Brazil, one of the countries most affected by the exodus of
millions of Venezuelans and by that country's economic
difficulties, defends the use of diplomatic and economic pressure
to force Maduro to call free elections, the report relays.

In an interview provided to foreign reporters in Rio this month,
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said that the solution to
the Venezuelan crisis demands dialogue among the different actors,
including Russia and China, the report notes.

"The issue of Venezuela is something complex because it involves
several actors. Not only the Venezuelan people and the current
governing authorities but also foreign actors like Cuba, Russia and
China and obviously the group of South American and Latin American
nations, who want Venezuela to quickly recover a political and
economic order compatible with the liberal democratic systems," he
said, the report says.

EFE relays that Mourao said that among the foreign actors
influencing the Venezuelan crisis, China is the least active,
although the fact that Beijing and Moscow hold permanent seats on
the UN Security Council is something that prevents that
organization from considering the Venezuelan crisis.

Besides the regional and international agenda, the foreign
ministers at the forum will also discuss their strategies to raise
their participation and influence in multilateral organizations,
mainly the UN, which they say must be reformed, the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the report notes.

Participating in the third BRICS foreign ministers' meeting will be
the representatives from Brazil (Ernesto Araujo); Russia (Sergei
Lavrov); India (Subrahmanyam Jaishankar); China (Wang Yi); and
South Africa (Naledi Pandor), the report notes.

Brazil holds the rotating presidency of the bloc in 2019, the
report adds.

                         About Venezuela

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a
country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a
continental landmass and a large number of small islands and
islets in the Caribbean sea.  The capital is the city of Caracas.

Hugo Chavez was president to Venezuela from 1999 to 2013.  The
Chavez presidency was plagued with challenges, which included a
2002 coup d'etat, a 2002 national strike and a 2004 recall
referendum.  Nicolas Maduro was elected president in 2013 after
the death of Chavez.  Maduro won a second term at the May 2018
Venezuela elections, but this result has been challenged by
countries including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Canada,
Germany, France and the United States who deemed it fraudulent and
moved to recognize Juan Guaido as president.

The presidencies of Chavez and Maduro have challenged Venezuela
with a socioeconomic and political crisis.  It is marked by
hyperinflation, climbing hunger, poverty, disease, crime and death
rates, social unrest, corruption and emigration from the country.

Standard and Poor's long- and short-term foreign currency
sovereign credit ratings for Venezuela stands at 'SD/D'
(November 2017).

S&P's local currency sovereign credit ratings on the other hand
are
'CCC-/C'. The May 2018 outlook on the long-term local currency
sovereign credit rating is negative, reflecting S&P's view that the
sovereign could miss a payment on its outstanding local currency
debt obligations or advance a distressed debt exchange operation,
equivalent to default.

Moody's credit rating (long term foreign and domestic issuer
ratings) for Venezuela was last set at C with stable outlook
(March 2018).

Fitch's long term issuer default rating for Venezuela was last set
at RD (2017) and country ceiling was CC. Fitch, on June 27, 2019,
affirmed then withdrew the ratings due to the imposition of U.S.
sanctions on Venezuela.


                           *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
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