"Politicized loans left the socialist South American country trapped under a mountain of Chinese debt — but now others want to sign up for Beijing's "generosity."The Venezuelan and Chinese economies seem like they could hardly have less in common. The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro has looted the state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to pay for the “Bolivarian revolution,” the socialist movement begun under the late leader Hugo Chávez. With oil prices down, the country is unable even to repair rigs or pay workers to generate income, and the government now faces the prospect of a mass uprising. Meanwhile, half a globe away, China’s gleaming malls stand in stark contrast to Venezuela’s empty shelves.
From 2007 to 2014, China lent Venezuela $63 billion — 53 percent of all its lending to Latin America during this time. There was an important catch to this largesse; to guarantee repayment, Beijing insisted on being repaid in oil.