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Venezuela’s Opposition Leader To Appoint Parallel PDVSA, Citgo Boards

The President of Venezuela’s opposition-dominated National Assembly Juan Guaido will announce new boards of directors for state oil company PDVSA and its U.S. business, Citgo, UPI reports, citing a statement from the opposition leader.

Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela last week as protests against Nicolas Maduro intensified. The President of the National Assembly, which the Maduro government refuses to recognize, called for more protests and new elections, quickly winning the support of the United States, Canada, and several South American countries. The EU has also called on President Maduro to hold new elections.

The new appointments are likely to only deepen an already strong sense of split personality in Venezuela. With two National Assemblies and now two presidents and governments, a parallel board of directors for PDVSA and Citgo comes on the heels of another round of Washington sanctions targeting specifically PDVSA, announced earlier today.

At the announcement, nationals U.S. Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, as quoted by the BBC, the sanctions will involve withholding PDVSA’s proceeds from crude oil sales to the United States, adding that the company could avoid being sanctioned if it recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

In his statement, Guaido said his government was aiming to "guarantee the biggest transparency and control" for PDVSA, adding that it was preparing to "start the process to name the boards of directors of PDVSA and Citgo to allow the recovery of our industry that is going now through a dark moment."

The interim President also said the decision to appoint new boards of directors for PDVSA and its only profitable business, Citgo, was part of a drive for "taking progressive and orderly control of the assets of our Republic abroad" to "speed up the political transition."

Venezuela is one of the four biggest suppliers of crude oil to the United States, which is one of the country’s biggest buyers, taking in some 41 percent of all crude oil exports.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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