Scotiabank’s President Brian Porter has urged the international community to auction the foreign assets of Venezuela’s government officials and use the proceeds to support the democratic movement in the South American country.
In an opinion piece in Canadian daily National Post, Porter has said that the time has come for governments around the world to name and shame the current regime in Venezuela.
Citing a report from the UN Human Rights Commission, Porter said that the administration of President Nicolas Maduro had imprisoned hundreds of political rivals, engaged in extrajudicial killings. More than anything else, the regime is using food as a weapon to retain its iron grip on power.
An average Venezuelan is earning less than $4 a month, not enough to buy a single kilogram of beef in a country with inflation of 50,000,000 percent, he added.
The Scotiabank’s President has also urged the international community to recognize Juan Guaidó as the ‘legitimate president’ and back his attempt to return his country to democracy.
Scotiabank has extensive operations in dozens of countries across Latin America, with Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru being among the bank’s major operational centers in the region.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Venezuelan government has blocked Scotiabank from repatriating the cash related to its investment in the country’s major lender Banco del Caribe.
Also, the Canadian Bank had to write down US$98 million on the investment.
Over the past five years, many multinationals have either halted operations or exited the country completely, as they found themselves unable to repatriate their profits.
The American companies that suffered an enormous loss in Venezuela include Mondelez, Liberty Mutual, Colgate, Procter & Gamble, Ford, Kimberly Clark, General Motors, Ford, Coca-Cola.