Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Remembering Cranberries star Dolores O'Riordan

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Irony? Lebanon bans Steven Spielberg's film about censorship

Read more

THE DEBATE

Tunisia's revolutionary fire: Fresh protests, seven years after Arab Spring

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Case dismissed against French troops accused of child rape in Central African Republic

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Spain set to overtake US in tourism rankings

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and mixed messages

Read more

FOCUS

Stolen medication sold on black market in Mexico

Read more

ENCORE!

Brendan Power: The future of the harmonica

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Louise Arbour: Negative attitude towards migration 'completely self-defeating'

Read more

Maduro says Venezuela will 'never' default on its massive debt

© AFP/File | Venezuela's huge levels of debt have left it in a desperate state, unable to import badly needed food, medicine and other goods

CARACAS (AFP) - 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro insisted on Sunday that his cash-strapped country would "never" default, as he prepared to meet with creditors in Caracas to discuss rescheduling part of the country's massive $150 billion debt.

"Never, default will never reach Venezuela," he declared on his weekly television show. "Our strategy is to renegotiate and refinance all the debt."

Maduro pointed to ongoing negotiations with his allies China and Russia, to which Venezuela owes, respectively, $28 billion and $8 billion.

He said talks with China were "moving along perfectly" and noted that agreement had been reached this week with Moscow to restructure roughly $3 billion in loans. That was seen to give Caracas at least a few weeks' breathing room to make other upcoming payments.

But sanctions imposed by the United States in August -- the White House cited the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, the creation of "an illegitimate Constituent Assembly" and "rampant public corruption" -- have made it hard for the country to raise money from international investors.

Venezuela's huge levels of debt have left it in a desperate state, unable to import badly needed food, medicine and other goods.

Maduro accused the financial rating agencies, which this week lowered Venezuela's debt rating, of being part of a "financial war" waged by the United States, a favorite target of his.

The downgrading of Venezuela's ratings by Standard and Poor's and Fitch was seen as increasing the likelihood of a default.

© 2017 AFP