“That’s how cash poor and badly run PDVSA is,” said Russ Dallen of boutique investment bank Caracas Capital, who first made the dispute public. “They are sitting on top of the biggest oil reserves in the world and they can’t even write a cheque for $21.5m dollars.” He said worldwide publicity about the case over the past week had piled shame on PDVSA and the government in Caracas, “and they wanted it to go away as quickly as possible.”