By Luc Cohen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido needs more “support” from the U.S. government to retain control of U.S. refiner Citgo [PDVSAC.UL] and prevent bondholders from taking over the subsidiary of state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], Citgo chair Luisa Palacios said on Wednesday.
Guaido, leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly, named a board of directors to Citgo after Washington recognized him as the OPEC nation’s rightful leader, deeming socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election illegitimate.
His control over Citgo has come under threat by holders of PDVSA’s 2020 bond, which is backed by a 50.1% stake in the company controlling Citgo. If the opposition fails to make a $913 million bond payment due in late October, creditors could attempt to seize the company.
Guaido’s allies have been pushing for President Donald Trump to issue an executive order shielding Citgo from creditors. Speaking at a conference, Palacios said it would be contradictory for the administration not to help Guaido save Citgo from bondholders, after helping him assume control of the company in the first place.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by David Evans and David Gregorio)