Venezuelan lawmakers urge CAF to deny government loan request

Venezuelan lawmakers urge CAF to deny government loan request

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Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela are calling on the Latin American development bank CAF to deny a $400m loan request from the administration of President Nicolas Maduro.

Jose Guerra, a legislator and economist who heads the finance and social development committee in the National Assembly, publicly urged CAF to reject the application from the national development bank Bandes.

The move marks the latest flare-up in long-simmering tensions between Maduro and lawmakers in the opposition-led congress. Maduro bypassed lawmakers last year to win approval for the 2017 budget. Without the lawmakers’ approval, any financial transaction involving a loan would be considered "null and void," Guerra said.

"We urge CAF to respect Venezuela’s institutions and that any public credit operation must be covered under the debt law and approved by the National Assembly," he said.

A CAF spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Venezuela has been the biggest recipient of CAF loans with $3.32bn in outstanding loans, followed by Ecuador, according to the Caracas-based development bank's financial statements.