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Venezuela’s Maduro Battles for Management of US-Primarily based Refinery | Texas Information

The Associated Press

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and first woman Cilia Flores, proper, lead a rally condemning the financial sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Supporters of Maduro joined him after he referred to as for protests towards the current strikes by the U.S. to tighten sanctions towards the ruling authorities. (AP Picture/Ariana Cubillos) The Related Press

By SCOTT SMITH, Related Press

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The federal government of President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday nullified the newly named board of Venezuela’s prized Citgo refineries amid a political battle for management of the nation, saying opposition leaders had no proper to nominate them.

The battle over the nation’s Most worthy international asset comes as Maduro fends off opposition chief Juan Guaidó, whose declare to Venezuela’s presidency is backed by the US and greater than 50 different nations.

The opposition-run Nationwide Meeting appointed the 15-member Citgo board early this yr after Guaidó declared presidential powers, arguing Maduro’s presidency is illegitimate. Maduro maintains energy with backing from the navy and allies reminiscent of Cuba, Russia and China.

Citgo is valued at an estimated $eight billion and consists of three refineries in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois, along with a community of pipelines. Citgo can be on the heart of court docket battles, such a lawsuit filed by Canadian mining agency Crystallex, following a disputed takeover of the corporate by the late-President Hugo Chavez.

State comptroller Elvis Amoroso, who made the announcement on state TV, additionally stated the ad-hoc board members are banned from leaving the nation and their Venezuelan financial institution accounts have been frozen, though it is unclear whether or not any of them proceed to reside within the South American nation.

Amoroso additionally stated that 5 main figures against Maduro have been banned from politics for 15 years. They together with former Legal professional Basic Luisa Ortega, former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma and three opposition lawmakers.

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Updated: August 15, 2019 — 7:49 pm

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