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Official Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and US-recognized Venezuelan President Juan Guaido are both vying for control over PDVSA’s refinery in the United States—Citgo—and a US court is set to decide who will control it, according to Reuters.
Citgo Petroleum Corp., one of the largest oil refineries in the United States, is currently clumsily operating with two dueling boards of directors—one appointed by Maduro and one appointed by Guaido, and both are digging in over the power struggle for Venezuela’s US-based refinery. Maduro filed a lawsuit yesterday in a Delaware court, according to Reuters, to officially recognize Maduro’s hand-picked board in order to take control over Citgo’s $30 billion in revenue.
The Venezuelan Supreme Court has previously ruled in Maduro’s favor, but the ruling did little to encourage Guaido to step aside when it comes to the critical asset. Guaido’s appointed chairwoman is the one who has been running Citgo in the United States.
Citgo said that it was confident that the US courts would recognize Guaido’s claim to appoint directors, and Maduro is unrelenting in trying to usurp his authority. As part of his reclamation efforts, several Citgo executives—five of whom were American citizens—were jailed over a year ago when they returned to Venezuela for a meeting. The so-called Citgo 6 are still in custody awaiting trial, standing accused of corruption, embezzlement, and crafting a debt restructuring deal that was viewed by the Maduro administration as being unfavorable to PDVSA.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.