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Maduro "Open To Talks" As 20 Tons Of Gold Mysteriously Disappear From Venezeula's Vaul

• https://www.zerohedge.com

Update: A spokesman for the Kremlin has denied rumors that the private Boeing 777 registered to Russia's Nordwind airline which landed in Caracas this week was there to spirit away a chunk of the country's gold reserves - or escort the country's embattled leader, Nicolas Maduro, into exile, according to the Telegraph.

"Russia is prepared to help resolve the political situation [in Venezuela] in any way possible, without interfering into the country's internal affairs," Mr Peskov was quoted as saying by the RBC news outlet.

On Monday, a Russian newspaper reported that the empty plane had departed from Moscow to Caracas with enough space for some 400 passengers. According to photos taken by Reuters, it was parked by a private corner of the Caracas airport. It marked the first time the plane had flown on that route. Reports said the plane carried two crew teams and that there was "no obvious reason for it to fly there."

Peskov cautioned journalists to be "careful with different hoaxes" when asked for a response to the plane rumors.

In what sounded like a slight against the US, Peskov said Russia was committed to helping resolve the "political situation" in Venezuela without interfering in the country's business. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow will do "anything" to support Maduro.

"Russia is prepared to help resolve the political situation [in Venezuela] in any way possible, without interfering into the country's internal affairs," Mr Peskov was quoted as saying by the RBC news outlet.

Though it's worth noting that reports claim Russia is nervous about protecting the money it has invested in Venezuela, which has been used to help prop up the Maduro regime.

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It's probably just a coincidence.

One day after a Russian official warned that Venezuela would struggle to meet its financial obligations to Moscow under a $3.15 billion debt-rescheduling deal, Bloomberg is reporting that a mysterious Russian Boeing 777 had landed in Caracas on Tuesday and ferried away 20 tonnes of gold - equivalent to roughly 20% of the country's holdings of the shiny metal - to an unknown location with little explanation. The story cited a "bombshell tweet" sent by Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra, a "former central bank economist who remains in touch with old colleagues there", and the "welter of social media speculation" that followed (though Guerra provided no evidence).

To be sure, many outlandish claims have been made in the week since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the legitimate democratically-elected leader of what was once Latin America's wealthiest nation - creating the biggest threat to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's rule since the socialist dictator took office in 2013.

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