US Senators Bill Cassidy, John Kennedy, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, along with Congressmen Clay Higgins, Ralph Abraham and Lizzie Fletcher, asked the President of the United States (US), Donald Trump, to protect the Venezuelan company Citgo .
Representatives of Congress and the Senate asked the president to suspend General License 5, which allows those who own company bonds to collect the PDVSA 2020 bonus, including collateral, which is 50.1% of Citgo’s shares.
The request submitted by the US representatives explained that:
“On October 28, the PDVSA 2020 bonus requires a payment of $915 million from the Maduro regime. To complicate matters, the Maduro regime also used Citgo as collateral for a loan it received from the Russian state oil company Rosneft. Interested parties have told us that non-compliance with PDVSA 2020 bonds will result in a cross-default of the Rosneft loan. The potential fact that Rosneft has control of an American company poses a great threat and exposes a critical infrastructure to threats to national security. In addition, PDVSA 2020 bondholders in their attempt to take control of Citgo, will likely to break the comany into pieces, and as assets will be sold separately, the future of employment for thousands of Americans will be immediately uncertain.”
The letter delivered by senators and congressmen also exposed the importance of Citgo for the US economy, and how dangerous it would be for it to fall into Russia’s hands for non-payment:
“The impact of a breach would be felt acutely along the Gulf Coast. For decades, Citgo has been part of the United States energy industry operating three highly complex refineries in Louisiana, Illinois and Texas with a capacity of nearly 750,000 barrels per day (bpd), as well as product terminals and several kilometers of pipelines. The company employs more than 3,500 workers on time and approximately 1,800 contractors. With its 4,900 retailers independently owned stations, Citgo also contributes to the employment of thousands of state residents across the country.”
“We urge the Administration to take all necessary measures to protect Citgo, its employees and retirees from any exposure that may result from non-compliance”, the document concluded.