Venezuela’s VP Rodríguez: US Theft of CITGO Violates Every Law on Earth

Orinoco Tribune, May 4, 2023 —

The blatant theft of CITGO “began with Obama and his decree, then Donald Trump came with organized crime, but this License 42 of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) goes beyond everything in the content that violates the laws of Venezuela and international law,” said Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodríguez.

“There is nothing left on the planet that they have not [legally] violated with that license, and I want to recall that on January 9, 2023, OFAC, in this system of blockade and violation against the country, issued a license where it recognized the National Assembly of 2015,” said Vice President Rodríguez from the Simón Bolívar Room in Miraflores Palace this Wednesday, May 3.

Given its clear illegality, Rodríguez condemned the United States government’s decision to initiate a judicial auction process of CITGO, Venezuela’s most valuable asset abroad.

In order to prove this point, Rodríguez pointed out that, although the US government argues for the separation of powers, on April 7 it sent a communication through the Department of Justice through which it authorized a court to initiate the judicial auction process of CITGO and its assets in order to benefit a list of alleged creditors against Venezuela. The communication they made public on April 28.

Unprecedented: OFAC License 42
This Monday, the United States, through OFAC, issued General License 42, in which it “authorizes” former deputies belonging to the extremist opposition to carry out transactions related to debt negotiations of the government of Venezuela, PDVSA, or any entity in which Venezuela holds ownership equal to or greater than 50%.

This measure, which has been denounced by Venezuela as “a brazen attempt to steal” CITGO, comes after a Delaware court of justice authorized alleged Venezuelan debt creditors to seize the Venezuelan company.

No agreement will be recognized
Delcy Rodríguez pointed out that the Bolivarian government of Venezuela “will not recognize any type of payment agreement to any creditor that is not negotiated and agreed by the Venezuelan State.”

“We do not recognize any law that is not within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Venezuela and, therefore, we will continue to act correctly for the country. The people want tranquility, development, [and] social and economic happiness,” she said.

With this press conference, the vice president informed the country and the international community about the criminal and corruption plot that is being committed with the dispossession of the Venezuelan company CITGO.

OFAC and the US mock international law
For Vice President Rodríguez, the US government mocked all those who attended the International Conference in Bogotá, Colombia—where countries requested the lifting of sanctions against Venezuela—because the US already knew what was coming with this issuance of License 42 against the Venezuelan people.

With “this new OFAC license,” said Rodríguez, “who can or cannot buy the country’s resources is authorized as a hitman.”

“It is incredible that this happens after an international conference was held in Colombia, where 17 out of 20 countries demanded the lifting of the blockade against Venezuela,” Rodríguez noted. “They made fun of all those countries that almost unanimously called for an end to the blockade.”

This story was created and invented by the United States government, stated Rodríguez, and, in agreement with the Venezuelan opposition currently represented by the Unitary Platform, they intend to “advance in the dispossession of our assets.”

Venezuela continues in the fight for its assets
Venezuela will continue to denounce, in each national and international forum, the theft and dispossession of its resources abroad, assured Rodríguez. In this sense, on Wednesday, at the meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations Organization on SDG 16 to improve governance and fight corruption, the Venezuelan government raised its voice to condemn the sanctions and the theft of CITGO.

The Venezuelan delegation stated that “unilateral coercive measures (euphemistically referred to as “sanctions”) and the US attempts to confiscate national assets, such as the CITGO corporation, constitute the highest possible expression of corruption and represent criminal actions and double standards in the fight against this scourge.”

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