China will provide a $5 billion loan to Venezuela as a means of alleviating its domestic economic woes, Venezuela’s finance minister told Bloomberg, days ahead of a visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing.
Simon Zerpa said that “either cash or oil” will be how Venezuela plans to pay back the credit, with an additional deal involving cooperation on gold mining.
The two governments are still finalising the terms of any deal and will release details in a timely manner, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.
“The domestic situation is getting better and Venezuela’s government is actively promoting economic and financial reform,” the spokesman said.
During his visit, Maduro is expected to petition to Beijing for support as his country faces a mountain of socio-economic crises. The incumbent government owes over $6 billion and has been forced to freeze repayments on foreign debt, squeezing any remaining financing streams left in the economy.