As an oil-producing country, Venezuela should be swimming in cash. A member of it OPEC, it's believed to pump roughly 2.6 million barrels of oil per day, though the exact number is disputed.
Also in question is how much oil Venezuela actually sells. Chavez distributes 800,000 barrels per day internally for his citizens’ use, and then another 300,000 barrels per day to friendly Latin American neighbors, such as Cuba and Bolivia, at highly subsidized prices.
Chavez also has been spending money extensively, both internally and overseas, as he builds what he calls his “Bolivarian Socialist Revolution.” Just how much the president spends is unclear, because Venezuelan government finances are opaque.
In a speech Thursday, Chavez put Venezuela's savings at $100 billion. But in terms of actual reserves that can be measured by the international banking system, that figure is closer to $39 billion dollars.
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Six months ago, Venezuela's bonds were yielding between 7-9 percent depending on maturity. Currently yields have dropped to a range of 15 percent to 16 percent, indicating investors are increasingly nervous about getting paid back on the bonds.