Venezuela entered into an agreement in 2016 with Gold Reserve, Inc. in regards to a cancelled mining project. Venezuela agreed to repay in monthly installments, they stopped making payments after the fourth quarter of last year.
Gold mining companies have been forced out of the country and the only active miners are under the supervision of the army. This has left any profit potential from mining operations in tatters. Prior to the usurping of the gold mines, production was about 11 tons annually. After taking over the mines, production is around 500 kilos a year, a metric ton is equivalent to 1,000 kilos.
Venezuela’s industries have been devastated by Maduro’s policy (just a side note, Maduro’s past job was a bus driver), I guess he had limited knowledge of running something larger than a bus. The devastation of the country has been so rapid and so all encompassing that current news is filled with articles on the population’s plight in surviving. Currently the national currency, Venezuelean Bolivar, has lost almost all its value and inflation is running at 2,000 per cent.
To maintain some stock of medical supplies, the government has requested that pharmaceutical companies agree to accept gold or diamonds for payment. The country is in the throes of civil unrest as the economy dies.