On Sunday, US federal judge Paul B. Matey ordered the suspension of the attempted seizure of CITGO Corporation. a subsidiary of Venezuela’s national petroleum company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
The decision was issued after the US judge accepted a motion filed by the ad hoc board of directors of the parallel, illegitimate “PDVSA” appointed by former deputy Juan Guaidó and recognized by Joe Biden administration as the legitimate management of PDVSA.
The ruling establishes that the liquidation and six other processes that require the collection of the debt through CITGO will be temporarily suspended. The cases will be on hold at least until the court issues a new order.
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As a result, cases 23-1647, 23-1648, 23-1649, 23-1650, 23-1651, 23-1652, and 23-1781—all filed by transnational corporations against Venezuela remain suspended.
“The above motion for suspension is forwarded to the panel of this Court that will decide on the merits of these appeals,” cited the ruling. “In the meantime, a temporary administrative suspension is ordered: further proceedings on all six appeals are suspended… until further order of this Court.”
The creditors who wish to claim payment from any liquidation must present a series of assets before next May 19. Then, a response to the appeal must be provided before June 2 and, finally, the reply briefs must be delivered before June 9.
Given this scenario, the professor of public and international affairs, Francisco Rodriguez, who is connected to Venezuela’s opposition explained that the decision of the Third Circuit Court to suspend the embargo liquidation will not prevent the sale process from continuing. This is because the ruling only affects six creditors and leaves another five processes in progress.
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Last week, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury issued a license authorizing the sale of CITGO, thus providing legal cover for the blatant theft of the most significant Venezuelan asset abroad.
1. Lamentablemente, la reciente decisión de la Corte del Tercer Circuito de suspender temporalmente ciertas órdenes de embargo contra CITGO no impedirá que siga el proceso de venta. La suspensión afecta a 6 acreedores pero deja en curso 5 otros procesos, incluyendo a Crystallex. pic.twitter.com/QBqHQYBtWp
— Francisco Rodríguez (@frrodriguezc) May 8, 2023
Rodríguez stated that the suspension is a routine order that is issued while the affected party, which in this case is the legitimate Venezuelan publicly owned petroleum company, PDVSA, appeals the decision. “The order temporarily suspends some embargo processes but does not reverse them, unless PDVSA wins the appeal,” he added.
Finally, Rodriguez pointed out that in order to prevent the loss of CITGO, a political agreement is necessary to enter into negotiations with creditors.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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