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Economics

The Drug Kingpin Running Venezuela’s Bond Negotiations

  • Financiers must decide whether to meet sanctioned El Aissami
  • Vice president faces accusations of smuggling and repression
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RVX's Zucaro on Venezuela's Debt Overhaul Plan
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Vice President Tareck El Aissami has summoned bondholders to a meeting in Caracas as Venezuela prepares to restructure its crushing debt. For some, the meeting could land them behind bars.

El Aissami, sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department this year after accusations he oversaw a cocaine-smuggling network, is one of the nation’s iron-fisted political operatives. Often in charge of delivering President Nicolas Maduro’s most critical messages, he blasts critics publicly, exposing supposed conspiracy rings and threatening legal action against dissident leaders from National Assembly President Julio Borges to Luisa Ortega, the public-prosecutor-turned-whistle-blower