Venezuela Condemns US Supreme Court Ruling on CITGO

from the Orinoco Tribune, published January 10, 2024

Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information Freddy Ñáñez stated that the Venezuelan government condemns the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court to ratify the dispossession of CITGO Petroleum Corporation.

Through a social media post published Tuesday, December 9, Minister Ñáñez wrote that the action violates the agreements signed in Barbados last year. According to his social media post, the measure is seen as another step in the ongoing aggression by United States institutions against Venezuela, seizing the assets rightfully belonging to the Venezuelan people.

On Monday, January 8, a Delaware court granted a group of companies linked to Venezuela the right to participate and receive proceeds from a possible upcoming auction of shares in PDV Holding, the parent company of CITGO. However, the group must comply with a January 12 deadline to have writs of attachments issued against the shares. The court in Delaware did not grant any extra time or modify the auction schedule. The US Treasury has also reserved the right to rule on any winning bid.

The same day, a US Supreme Court ruling rejected Venezuela’s attempt to limit the number of companies participating in the auction. According to Reuters, these decisions may allow additional creditors to receive a portion of the auction’s proceeds, particularly if the largest creditors settle with Venezuela.

This is a move seen by many analysts as an attempt to consolidate the robbery of Venezuela’s most valuable asset abroad—CITGO Petroleum Corporation. This theft has been justified by highlighting sovereign debt claims that Venezuelan authorities have not been able to honor due to the US sanctions or arbitrations that Venezuela has been unable to continue fighting due to the same failed US “regime change operation” that put CITGO in the hands of Venezuelan far-right politicians who have no legal right to manage it.

The court ruling mentioned in Venezuela’s statement confirms the harm caused to the interests and heritage of the Venezuelan people due to the actions of the illegitimate 2015 National Assembly (AN).

This US-backed 2015 National Assembly has been attempting to usurp the institutions and representation of Venezuela in foreign countries since 2019. This AN’s actions have prevented the legitimate authorities from effectively protecting CITGO within the United States territory, violating the agreements signed in Barbados.

The Venezuelan government has confirmed that it will use all political, diplomatic, and legal measures at its disposal to prevent the definitive dispossession of its oil company, valued between $32 to $40 billion.

Below is the unofficial translation of the statement:

“The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela condemns the decision made by the Supreme Court of Justice of the United States of America concerning the vulgar dispossession that is taking place in that country against the company Citgo Petroleum Corporation (Citgo).

This decision constitutes an additional step in the multiform aggression that is carried out by the United States institutions against Venezuela to plunder the assets belonging to the Venezuelan people, in clear transgression of the norms that govern peaceful coexistence between states.

Likewise, this [US] Supreme Court ruling confirms the serious damage caused to the Venezuelan people’s interests and assets by the criminal action of the organized crime group calling itself the “National Assembly of 2015” that, since 2019, has sought to usurp the institutions and representation of the Republic abroad.

With this action, they have prevented the legitimate authorities from taking the necessary steps to protect Citgo effectively within United States territory, flagrantly violating the agreements signed in Barbados.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirms that it will continue to implement all political, diplomatic, and legal measures at its disposal to avoid the consolidation of the definitive dispossession of the Citgo company while continuing to demand that the bodies of the Venezuelan justice system establish the “Appropriate sanctions against those responsible for the theft of this asset of great importance for Venezuelans’ present and future.”

*Featured Image: A CITGO refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press/File photo.

Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff


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