Venezuela slams US for backing sale of state-owned oil company
CARACAS - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Monday denounced a US move to allow Venezuela's state-owned oil company Citgo Petroleum to be sold by the opposition to settle creditors claims, reported Xinhua.
Maduro said the move was aimed at upending the International Conference on the Political Process in Venezuela, an initiative to promote peaceful dialogue between Maduro's government and opposition parties that was held in neighbouring Colombia on April 25.
"This decision by the government of the United States is a mockery and a slap in the face of the international conference convened in Bogota and the almost unanimous petition to lift the sanctions on Venezuela," Maduro said at a public event in downtown Caracas marking the International Workers' Day.
Maduro said he was outraged by the sacking of the US-based Venezuelan oil company that owns refiners, pipelines and terminals and supplies thousands of gas stations in the United States.
"On behalf of all the people of Venezuela," he said, "we indignantly reject and repudiate the theft of the Citgo company by the US government and by the Unitary Platform of Venezuela," as the opposition alliance is called.
The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has reportedly authorised the sale of shares in Petroleos de Venezuela, Citgo's parent company, to settle creditors claims and allowed the Venezuelan opposition to negotiate the settlements. - BERNAMA-XINHUA