WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition has no plans to use funds belonging to U.S. refiner Citgo, which is owned by state oil company PDVSA, despite having named a new board for the company this week, the self-declared interim government’s U.S. envoy said on Friday.
The opposition will not make changes to the refining company’s management or operations until Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled Congress who swore himself in as president last month, has control of state functions, said Carlos Vecchio, Guaido’s representative in Washington.
Money - Citgo - Corporation - Vecchio - Interview
“We are not touching that money. It belongs to Citgo as a corporation,” Vecchio said in an interview. “We want Citgo in financial health and for operations to continue, and for that money to stay there for when we are able to take effective control of power and the state’s institutions, including PDVSA.”
Citgo, which owns about 4 percent of U.S. oil refining capacity, has become central to the power struggle between Guaido and embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro since the United States slapped sanctions on state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, last month.
Sanctions - US - Companies - Crude - Payments
The sanctions require U.S. companies importing Venezuelan crude to make payments into an account held in escrow for Guaido’s government, in a bid to oust Maduro, who has overseen a collapse in oil production in the OPEC nation, which is undergoing a severe economic and humanitarian crisis.
Vecchio said the opposition had not yet opened an account with any U.S. financial institution.
Sanctions - Venezuela - Ability
The sanctions also complicate Venezuela’s ability to make an...
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