America must lead the way to freedom in Venezuela, key investor says

By James DeRosaLatin AmericaFOXBusiness

Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro continues to face pressure to step down

Greylock Capital President Hans Humes discusses how disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is refusing to step down, despite the pressure he is facing from the Venezuelan people.

A major movement to gain access to humanitarian aid is expected this Saturday in Cucúta along the Venezuela- Colombia border and ahead of that, a number of American debt holders have a specific and personal interest in a calm and swift resolution to the power vacuum in Venezuela-- they want to be repaid.

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Emerging markets debt investor and CEO of Greylock Capital, Hans Humes, places bets on recovery in places no other investors dare to place their money. He buys debt at a massive discount during challenging times, then sells it when the country is back on its feet. It is a dangerous game and one that most do not have the stomach to withstand.

"There are many ways it can play out in a way that's not favorable to the people of Venezuela or to the creditors of Venezuela,” he said during an interview on FOX Business’ “Trish Regan Primetime” on Wednesday. “If this is mismanaged, you are in an area of the world that has had brutal civil wars."

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Humes said he is pushing for reforms that would push the country towards solvency.

"The ideal thing for all of us is there is a smooth transition, a democratic process that results in a legitimate leader of Venezuela,” he said. “One would hope it's done in a way that's more consistent with something that happened in South Africa."

Transforming Venezuela into a functioning member of the world economy will require leadership and smart diplomacy, according to Humes, and he also added that the United States should not be footing the bill.

“I don't think we need to go in there and spend U.S. taxpayer money to rebuild the country,” he said. “What we need to do is provide global leadership toward democracy.”

In the meantime, ridding the country of its socialist dictatorship will require, in most international experts’ eyes, an amnesty package -- something National Security Council head John Bolton has encouraged.

“What we'd like would be the peaceful transfer of power of Maduro to say, ‘I'm out of here,’ get on the plane, go to some other country and live in a nice villa on the beach for the rest of his life," Bolton told Regan last month.

But, Humes also offered a note of caution: “Maduro is said to be surrounded by so many bad actors that should he signal any willingness to exit the country, his safety could be at risk before he ever has the opportunity to take the United States offer for amnesty.”

“There are plenty of people behind the curtain of Venezuela's government whose best interest wouldn't be to give up power to the country's opposition party,” he added.

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