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

          Thursday, August 8, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 158

                           Headlines



B R A Z I L

BABILONIA HOLDINGS: Moody's Reviews Ba2 Debt Rating for Downgrade


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Economists Worried About Debt Pace
MAJESTIC HOTEL: Labor Unions to Picket Over 20+ Layoffs
[*] DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Shippers Wager on Sustainability


P U E R T O   R I C O

PUERTO RICO: High Ct. to Weigh Legitimacy of Pierluisi as Governor
RELIANCE MANUFACTURING: Gets More Time to File Chapter 11 Plan


V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO PETROLEUM: Venezuela Embargo Puts Citgo Bond Payment at Risk
VENEZUELA: Calls Latest US Sanctions "Economic Terrorism"

                           - - - - -


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B R A Z I L
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BABILONIA HOLDINGS: Moody's Reviews Ba2 Debt Rating for Downgrade
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina Ltda. placed under review for downgrade the
Ba2 global scale and Aa1.br national scale ratings assigned to
Babilonia Holdings S.A.'s BRL87 million senior secured debentures
due in 2033.

The action follows EDP Renovaveis, S.A. announcement that it has
signed an agreement with an affiliate of Actis LLP to sell its
entire ownership stake at Babilonia, with target completion before
year-end 2019.

On Review for Downgrade:

Issuer: Babilonia Holding S.A.

Senior Secured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for
Downgrade, currently Ba2/Aa1.br

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Babilonia Holding S.A.

Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

This rating action was prompted by Moody's perception that this
transaction could be credit negative to Babilonia due to the
uncertainty whether the project's initial assumptions will be
sustained under a different governance and potential changes in
underlying debt structure.

This transaction triggers Change of Control provisions governing
Babilonia's BRL87 million senior secured debentures and those of
its Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES)
loans. Thus, the conclusion of this acquisition encompasses certain
execution challenges, such as obtaining waivers from creditors to
the Change of Control and eventual amendments on the debt
documents. Additionally, EDP Renovaveis Brasil S.A. (EDPR-Brasil),
a local subsidiary of EDPR, currently provides a corporate
guarantee to debentures' holders to mitigate the ramp-up risks
until the project achieves certain operating and financial
standards for twelve consecutive months. According to EDPR-Brasil,
if the minimum operating and financial standards are not achieved
within six months following the closing of the acquisition, the
corporate guarantee will be replaced with a bank letter of credit.


The Ba2/Aa1.br ratings to Babilonia project consider its robust and
predictable cash flow profile supported by 20-year regulated power
purchase agreements awarded in a Reserve Energy Auction (LER) as of
2015 that yields minimum and average debt service coverage ratios
(DSCR) of 1.42x and 1.76x. in its base case scenario. On the other
hand the project has a relatively short tenured (5 years)
operations and maintenance agreement (O&M) with Siemens Gamesa
Renewable Energy, S.A. (Baa3 stable) that is not full service. Its
base considered that the O&M agreement would be renewed for a
five-year period and, after that, EDPR-Brasil would operate the
project at a cost that is at least equivalent to those of previous
years, supported by its strong expertise in managing other wind
farms in Brazil and shared expertise with EDPR across the globe.

The review period will assess the progress on certain conditions
precedent being met for the transaction closure, including
regulatory approvals and waivers from creditors without incremental
fees or costs incurred at the project level. The review will also
cover any change in the credit quality of the guarantee structure
for debenture holders and the extent that Actis, as the new
shareholder, will support the project's financial profile and
operating performance in line with its initial assumptions.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE/DOWNGRADE

A downgrade would be considered with Moody's perception that the
overall project structure under the new ownership deteriorates
compared to its initial rating assumptions. A positive rating
action is unlikely at this time, given the limitation imposed by
the Government of Brazil's (Ba2, stable) bond rating due to the
highly regulated nature of the energy sector and Moody's views that
the project's counterparty risk is closely aligned with that of the
sovereign. The ratings could be confirmed upon further information
becoming available regarding the terms and conditions of the
project structure pro-forma for the transaction, as well as on the
strategy of the potential new shareholder to replace the corporate
guarantee on the debentures and its ability to support Babilonia's
operating performance.

Babilonia Holdings S.A. is a non-operational holding company owner
of five wind clusters authorized by ANEEL/Ministry of Energy and
Mining to operate as energy producers, forming the Babilonia
complex. Located in the municipalities of Ourolandia, Vazea Nova
and Morro do Chapeu, in the State of Bahia, the project has a total
installed capacity of 136.5MW, composed of 65 wind turbines
generators (WTGs) supplied by Gamesa of 2.1MW each (Model G114 CII
Maxpower). The project, which reached 100% official commercial
operations date in November 2018, is sponsored by EDP Renovaveis
Brasil S.A. (EDPR-Brasil, unrated).

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Power
Generation Projects published in June 2018.



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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Economists Worried About Debt Pace
------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Economists Rafael Espinal and Antonio
Ciriaco expressed concern about the pace of indebtedness that the
Dominican Republic is carrying, which presents an increase of more
US$5.6 billion in the last year, according to data on the
consolidated public debt recorded by the Directorate General of
Credit Public.

Likewise, the president of the National Council of Private
Enterprise (CONEP), Pedro Brache, expressed concern about the trend
that the country's public debt has been having, according to
Dominican Today.

"The CONEP has always advocated that the country determine what its
adequate levels of debt are.  Entrepreneurs are concerned about its
growth trend.  We need to determine together as a country what is
the limit that we must impose," said Brache for Diario Libre, notes
the report.  For Espinal, coordinator of the School of Economics of
the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (Intec), this pace of
indebtedness is putting the country in a difficult financial
situation for the next two years, the report says.

While Ciriaco, vice-dean of the School of Economics of the
Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) considered that to
the extent that the fiscal pact is postponed, there will always be
the problem of the trend.  He also said that while the authorities
are presenting deficit budgets, debt financing would also have an
important weight in the service of public debt, the report notes.


"What happens is that to the extent that the growth of GDP (Gross
Domestic Product) is less than the growth of debt, you will have a
debt/GDP ratio that will be much higher," said Ciriaco, after
referring that if the economy does not grow enough and if a fiscal
pact is not made to increase revenues, then public finances would
be pressured to pay the debt, the report relays.

On the problem, Espinal also understands that the public debt has
had an extraordinary growth that increasingly compromises the need
for payment and forces a restructuring as the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) says, the report notes.  "That creates a fiscal
pressure on the Dominican Government, that the next government that
results in 2020, or will have to approach the IMF to make a
restructuring or will have to sit down to make a strong fiscal
reform to provide greater income, because that pressure from sooner
or later the debt can cause the country's fiscal balance to
collapse," he said, the report relays.

                    Public Debt is 50.57% GDP

The consolidated public debt, which includes that of the
non-financial sector and that of the Central Bank of the Dominican
Republic, up to June of this year represents 50.57 percent of the
gross domestic product, according to data recorded in the General
Directorate of Public Credit, the report adds.

                     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).

MAJESTIC HOTEL: Labor Unions to Picket Over 20+ Layoffs
-------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the labor unions grouped in the CNTD
called on the Ministry of Labor, the Dominican Hotels and Tourism
Association (Asonahores) and the Tourism Ministry to intervene in
the conflict unleashed by the hotelier Majestic in Punta Cana, by
firing more than 20 employees allegedly for unionizing.

"The CNTD also announces that it will stage a picket in front of
the facilities of the Majestic Hotel in Punta Cana for the attitude
assumed by this hotel consortium, which is believed to be above the
Constitution of the Republic and the laws," said, CNTD president
Jacobo Ramos in a press conference, according to Dominican Today
reports that.

He warned that they'll start an international campaign, especially
in the United States, against the hotel complex "violators of human
rights, which as we have denounced on other occasions, violates the
agreements established by the country that have to do with the
labor freedom," the report notes.

[*] DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Shippers Wager on Sustainability
--------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that in order to provide options to the
Dominican economy on how to reduce the negative impact of
industrial operations in different ecosystems, the Dominican
Republic Shippers Association (ANRD) in collaboration with the
organization Sustainability 3Rs hosted the panel breakfast entitled
"Blue Economy: a new sustainable business model," which was related
to the maritime sustainability and recycling.

The expert Javier Goyeneche, was the guest speaker, according to
Dominican Today.

                     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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P U E R T O   R I C O
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PUERTO RICO: High Ct. to Weigh Legitimacy of Pierluisi as Governor
------------------------------------------------------------------
Luis Valentin Ortiz at Reuters reports that the future of Pedro
Pierluisi as Puerto Rico's governor will be up to the U.S.
territory's supreme court after the island's Senate declined to
vote on his confirmation, adding to the political turmoil that has
swirled for weeks.

During a special session, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz
said the lack of a vote by his chamber was equivalent to a
rejection of Pierluisi's nomination as secretary of state and next
in line to replace Ricardo Rossello, who resigned as governor,
according to Reuters.

The report notes that Schatz acknowledged that the supreme court
would ultimately rule on the matter.  Pierluisi also said it would
be up to the court, the report relays.

"With the utmost deference to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, I
will wait for its decision, trusting that what is best for Puerto
Rico will prevail," Pierluisi said in a statement obtained by the
news agency.

The high court put a lawsuit filed by Schatz on a fast track,
ordering all parties to submit their arguments by midday, the
report relays.  The lawsuit seeks to oust Pierluisi from office on
constitutional grounds because both legislative chambers had not
consented to the nomination, the report discloses.

Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez would be next in line to become
governor, the report adds.

                         Confirmation Process

Schatz said that Pierluisi failed to meet the requirements to be
considered as secretary of state and thus next in line for governor
as he "has yet to submit a single document" as part of the
confirmation process, the report notes.

Pierluisi said in a statement that he was sworn in as secretary of
state when both legislative chambers were in recess, giving him
"full possession" of the post under law, the report discloses.

He said he was properly sworn in as governor under Puerto Rico's
constitution and a 2005 law that Schatz's lawsuit claims is
unconstitutional, the report says.

Schatz initially filed his lawsuit in a San Juan court, then
successfully petitioned the supreme court to hear it directly, the
report relays.  The lawsuit contends that Pierluisi's swearing-in
was invalid because the U.S. territory's constitution requires him
to have fully taken the position of secretary of state before
Rossello's resignation in order for him to become the new governor,
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.

RELIANCE MANUFACTURING: Gets More Time to File Chapter 11 Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico extended
the period during which only Reliance Manufacturing Inc. can file a
Chapter 11 plan and disclosure statement to Sept. 27.

The company needs to reconcile all claims in order to propose a
"complete, viable and effective" plan that accounts for all claims
and to conclude possible negotiations with creditors, according to
court filings.

The deadline to submit proofs of claims against the company expired
on April 1.  After an assessment of the claims, Reliance objected
to Claim Nos. 9 and 10 filed by AAA and to Claim No. 7 filed by
Bautista Cayman Asset Company, which has yet to be considered by
the court.

                   About Reliance Manufacturing

Reliance Manufacturing, Inc., is a privately-held home builder in
San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Reliance Manufacturing sought protection under Chapter 11 of the
Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 18-05778) on Oct. 1, 2018.
In the petition signed by Gilberto Media Safon, president, the
Debtor disclosed $441,201 in assets and $2,788,977 in liabilities.
Judge Hon. Brian K. Tester presides over the case.  The Debtor
tapped MRO Attorneys at Law, LLC as its legal counsel; and Tamarez
CPA, LLC as its accountant.



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V E N E Z U E L A
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CITGO PETROLEUM: Venezuela Embargo Puts Citgo Bond Payment at Risk
------------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Scurria at The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela's
opposition leaders said the latest U.S. economic sanctions on its
government shield state-owned refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp. from
being seized, possibly allowing them to avoid more than $900
million in coming bond payments.

Venezuela's U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido said on
Twitter that the total embargo imposed by the Trump administration
protects Citgo, a prime target for seizure among creditors seeking
repayment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The report notes that the new sanctions put at risk an amortization
payment coming due in October on $1.7 billion in bonds backed by a
majority stake in Citgo.  President Trump's executive order
overrode a previous Treasury Department ruling that gave those
bondholders permission to take over Citgo if they weren't paid,
according to Jose Ignacio Hernandez, the opposition's attorney
general, the report relays.

The WSJ discloses that the Treasury Department could still issue a
license that would open up Citgo to seizure once again, said Russ
Dallen, head of investment bank Caracas Capital Markets.

But the executive order fulfilled a longstanding request from Mr.
Guaido's parallel administration, which took control of Citgo in
February and has lobbied the Trump administration to protect the
company from creditors, the report relates.  

As Venezuela's largest seizable asset in the U.S., Citgo is an
obvious source of compensation for creditors that have gone unpaid
during the country's lengthy economic meltdown, the report notes.
Citgo has considered filing for bankruptcy to sort out the
competing claims on its assets from bondholders and multinational
companies owed money by Venezuela, the report discloses.

Fearful of losing Citgo to foreclosure, the opposition had been
careful to pay down bondholders with collateral rights over the
company even as tens of billions of dollars in other sovereign and
Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, debts are in default, the
report relays.  Without the risk of losing Citgo, the opposition
has less incentive to pay, the report notes.

In an exchange with WSJ Pro Bankruptcy, the opposition's attorney
general Mr. Hernandez said its parallel board of directors at state
oil giant PdVSA would decide whether to make the October payment,
the report notes.

"In the middle of a unique political and economic crisis, any
government will face problems to make this payment," he said, the
report discloses.

The company's Gulf Coast oil refineries were key PdVSA customers
until the White House imposed sanctions in January that shut down
oil trading between the U.S. and Venezuela, the report notes.
Citgo has since stabilized, refinancing its debt and fending off an
attempt by corporate directors loyal to President Nicolas Maduro to
reclaim the company, the report relays.

Yet, the company's future has remained uncertain as creditors chase
it through the U.S. court system to collect on claims against
Venezuela, the report relays.  Crystallex International Corp. a
defunct Canadian miner, has been seeking to auction off Venezuela's
shares of Citgo to satisfy an arbitration judgment, the report
notes.

A federal appeals court last week authorized Crystallex to seize
those shares, threatening to strip Citgo from the opposition's
grasp, the report relates.  The ruling is subject to further
appeals and hasn't taken effect, the report discloses.

Other judgment holders, including ConocoPhillips, Owens-Illinois
Inc. and Rusoro Mining Ltd. , have targeted Citgo, a Venezuelan
asset since 1990 and a key piece of the U.S. energy infrastructure,
the report relays.

Citgo has said an auction of the company would put its debt into
default, unnerve suppliers and jeopardize thousands of U.S. jobs,
the report relays.

Handing Citgo over to the opposition was part of Washington's
strategy to funnel state assets away from Mr. Maduro, who has
refused to cede power despite an international pressure campaign
aimed at ending his socialist regime, the report notes.

The embargo marked a dramatic escalation of the White House
strategy to oust him, freezing all state assets and prohibiting
transactions with the regime unless specifically exempted, the
report relays.  The move put Venezuela on a par with North Korea,
Iran, Syria and Cuba, the only other countries currently under such
stringent U.S. measures, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 2, 2019, S&P Global Ratings said it assigned its 'B+'
issue-level rating and '1' recovery rating to U.S.-based refinery
and petroleum product marketer and distributor CITGO Petroleum
Corp.'s $1.2 billion senior secured term loan due in 2024. At the
same time, S&P Global Ratings placed the rating on CreditWatch with
developing implications.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the financing to provide
liquidity for ongoing business needs. In addition, the company
plans to terminate its revolving credit facility and AR
securitization facility.

VENEZUELA: Calls Latest US Sanctions "Economic Terrorism"
---------------------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that Washington's imposition of a
freeze on Venezuelan regime assets and a ban on transactions with
Nicolas Maduro's administration is "economic terrorism," Caracas'
representative to the United Nations said.

With this move, the United States has dropped the pretense of
caring about democratic norms in favor of an open attempt to
"sabotage" the dialogue between Maduro and the opposition, Samuel
Moncada told a press conference at UN headquarters, according to
The Latin American Herald.

The ambassador cited remarks earlier in US National Security
Adviser John Bolton, who told attendees at what was billed as the
International Conference for Democracy in Venezuela: "The time for
dialogue is over. Now is the time for action," the report relays.

Bolton, a key architect of the US effort to topple the leftist
Maduro regime, dismissed the talks taking place under Norwegian
auspices between representatives of the Venezuelan government and
Washington-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, the report notes.

"Mr. Bolton is not Venezuelan. The dialogue is among Venezuelans.
Who is Mr. Bolton to stick his nose in?" Moncada asked
rhetorically, the report relays.

The national security adviser's comments came at a gathering of
many of the roughly 50 nations who have joined the US in denouncing
Maduro's May 2018 re-election as illegitimate and recognize Guaido
as Venezuela's interim president, the report notes.

Accompanying Bolton in Lima was US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross,
who presented an economic program for a post-Maduro transition that
Moncada described as a "colonial plan to rearrange Venezuela after
they topple our government," the report discloses.

The Venezuelan envoy said he had delivered letters to UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council
formally asking for the world body to condemn a "series of hostile
aggressive actions against Venezuela" by the US, the report
relates.

Drafted before Trump announced the new sanctions, Moncada said the
missives concerned the president's prior public threats to impose a
blockade or quarantine on Venezuela, as well as recent actions by
the US military, the report notes.

The report relays that Venezuela has documented more than 55 aerial
incursions by US military planes, the ambassador said,
characterizing those episodes as the "systemic execution of a plan"
to provoke an incident that would serve as a pretext for an all-out
armed intervention.

Pointing to other statements by Bolton to the effect that
individuals, firms and countries would have to choose between
trading with Venezuela and trading with the United States, Moncada
denounced the US as a "rogue state" with aims of global domination,
the report notes.

Washington's policy, the Venezuelan envoy said, is "the United
States uber alles."

In Caracas, meanwhile, Moncada's boss, Foreign Minister Jorge
Arreaza, accused the US of seeking to make Venezuela the
battlefield in Washington's "geopolitical war against Russia and
against China," the report says.

Russia and China are among the 140 countries that continue to
recognize Maduro as president of Venezuela.

Working with its allies, Venezuela has built "an alternative
architecture" to evade US sanctions, Arreaza said, while
acknowledging that Washington's latest measures would make it "more
difficult and expensive" to obtain food, medicine and other
necessities from abroad, the report notes.

Venezuela's vice president Delcy Rodriguez also blasted the new US
sanctions, saying that they would harm "the entire Venezuelan
people," including the business community and opponents of the
Maduro regime, the report discloses.

She also wondered aloud whether Trump announced the new punitive
measures "to conceal the terrible internal situation" in the US
following a pair of mass shootings over the weekend that left 31
people dead and dozens of others wounded, the report relays.

Then-President Barack Obama imposed US sanctions on Venezuela in
2015, but the policy shifted into high gear after Trump took office
in 2017, the report notes.

In a study released in April, the Washington-based Center for
Economic and Policy Research estimated that the sanctions caused
more than 40,000 deaths in Venezuela in 2017-2018, 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.


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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
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2019.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000.
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