The US judge approved the sale of CITGO refineries in Venezuela

Citgo headquarters in the US
Citgo headquarters in the US

A federal judge in the United States approved the sale of the precious Venezuelan CITGO refineries located in the United States., and authorized a Canadian mining company to collect $ 1.4 billion that it lost due to the nationalization carried out by the late socialist president Hugo Chávez.

Judge Leonard P. Stark of the Federal District Court in Delaware issued his order after the United States Supreme Court upheld on Monday a previous ruling authorizing the liquidation of CITGO.

Before proceeding with the sale of CITGO, Canadian bankrupt Crystallex must obtain a permit from the United States Treasury Department, which had temporarily shielded the Venezuelan opposition from losing CITGO.

Crystallex and the attorneys representing Venezuela also have to agree on how the CITGO sale will take place, according to Stark's latest ruling.

However, the ambassador of the interim government of Venezuela in the US, Carlos Vecchio, assured that "no one can seize CITGO without authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control."

Carlos Vecchio's tweet on the subject Citgo
Carlos Vecchio's tweet on the subject Citgo

Vecchio added that "there is protection for our assets through an Executive Order of the Administration of the United States ... The decision of the Delaware judge involves resuming the trial of Crystalex who tries to collect a debt generated by an expropriation executed by Chàvez. We will exercise the necessary legal resources ”, published the diplomat through his account on the Twitter social network.

Carlos Vecchio-Twitter
Carlos Vecchio-Twitter

Chávez took control of the gold mining concession in Venezuela, as well as the operations of other international companies as part of his Bolivarian revolution that has left the South American nation in a political and economic crisis.

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Crystallex sued Venezuela to recoup its lost investments. The case is unique because the court allowed the miner to seize assets from Citgo's parent company, state-owned company PDVSA, after determining that Caracas had removed ties between the government and its oil firm.

Venezuela has owned CITGO since the 1980s as part of PDVSA. It has three refineries, in Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois, plus a pipeline network that crosses 23 states. It supplies between 5% and 10% of the gasoline consumed in the United States.

Juan Guaidó, President in charge of Venezuela
Juan Guaidó, President in charge of Venezuela

Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, has been recognized as the president in charge of the country for more than 50 countries since the beginning of 2019 and promised to end the Maduro regime and two decades of the socialist regime.

After the government of President Donald Trump recognized Guaidó as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, US courts approved a board appointed by the opposition to take control of CITGO, valued at about $ 8 billion.. However, more than a year later, Maduro continues to usurp power, thanks to the firm support of a group of his country's military and some international allies such as Russia, China and Iran.

The opposition led by Guaidó said in a statement that this step in the legal process was already foreseen after the Supreme Court ruling. The action is a direct result of the "disastrous politics" and expropriations of Chávez and his successor, Maduro, it is stated in the text

"The legitimate government will continue to fight for the protection of our country's assets," they said. "It is our commitment to maintain this defense on behalf of all Venezuelans."

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(With information from AP¡


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Sam Conley

Sam Conley is new to online journalism but she is keen to learn. She is an MBA from a reputed university. She brings together relevant news pieces from various industries. She loves to share quick news updates. She is always in search of interesting news so that she can share them as well to Sunriseread's readers who could enjoy them with their morning coffee.

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