The efforts of the Legitimate Government of Venezuela for the recovery, control and defense of the Nation’s assets have been a priority since the first day President (E) Juan Guaidó was sworn in before the Constitution and the Venezuelan people with the purpose of returning freedom and democracy to the country. That day also marked a commitment to rescue all public goods that for more than two decades have been plundered by the most corrupt dictatorship in the history of Venezuela.
Furthermore, CITGO’s protection and control have been key and represent a huge victory for the democratic struggle. However, the irresponsible policies of expropriation and indebtedness of the regimes of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have put CITGO at imminent risk, and the Legitimate Government has had to face international litigation involving the US-based oil company.
Three hearings were held today in the Delaware Court, a court that conducts proceedings that the dictatorship never attended and that keeps CITGO at risk. For its defense – the Legitimate Government – respecting the international mechanisms for the application of justice, we have advanced the legal strategies necessary for this purpose through the Special Attorney General of the Republic together with the legal representation of PDVSA ad hoc.
We have reiterated that the figure of the Alter Ego, raised by Crystallex, is not valid, because from the moment President (E) Juan Guaidó assumed the leadership of the Legitimate Government, PDVSA ad hoc has maintained an autonomous and independent behavior and therefore cannot be responsible for the debts incurred by the Republic. This autonomous management has been ratified by the US Government in its participation in the trial. Likewise, we have been emphatic in saying that a hypothetical sale process of the shares of PDV Holding, Inc. whose only property is CITGO cannot be considered while the sanctions regime protecting Venezuelan assets exists.
The Legitimate Government has made every legal effort within its reach for the defense of the Nation’s assets, and it has specified the support of the US Government which has clearly expressed that the protection of CITGO is key for the future of Venezuela, and that any decision to the contrary would affect its foreign policy.
We respect the independence of powers that exist in the U.S. so we are confident that the Delaware Judge will make the right decision in his judgment.
However, we want to speak the truth to the Venezuelan people, and we must be very clear that the threat that exists today to CITGO is the exclusive responsibility of Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro and their accomplices, who compromised the assets of the Nation without caring about the future of the country.
Finally, we ratify to the people of Venezuela our commitment as a legitimate government to defend these assets of the Nation, which are fundamental for the recovery of our country, once the usurpation ceases.