The Legitimate Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs that today, Friday October 16th, 2020, the New York District Court, headed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla, issued an opinion on the lawsuit filed by the Ad Hoc Administrative Board of Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and its subsidiary PDV Holding Inc. (PDVH), questioning the validity of the transaction of the so-called PDVSA 2020 Bonds.
Given this, we inform the public that:
1. This partial decision on the action of the Ad Hoc Administrative Board of PDVSA and PDVH is a direct consequence of the irresponsible indebtedness policies of the Nicolás Maduro regime and his mafia. Said decision is unfair, therefore, from the Legitimate Government, we support the legal team appointed by PDVSA’s ad hoc Administrative Board, in conducting the necessary evaluations to consider all legal options, including the appeal.
2. We insist that the issuance of these PDVSA 2020 Bonds –posting as collateral the shares of PDVH, whose sole property is CITGO– is absolutely fraudulent, as ruled by the National Assembly on August 27, 2016, through the approval of an agreement that clearly states that this condition of the collateral is illegal in view of the fact that it was not approved by the National Assembly, as established in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
3. The nullity suit before the New York District Court against the PDVSA 2020 Bonds was the result of a complex evaluation process in which it was determined that this was the only option that PDVSA had to protect the assets of CITGO, after the negotiations with the holders failed a few days before the maturity of the principal and interest installments for about a billion dollars.
4. Since President (E) Juan Guaidó assumed the Interim Presidency of Venezuela in January 2019, we have achieved the protection of CITGO on all fronts, irresponsibly opened by the dictatorship. In that sense, and despite the decision in the New York Court, CITGO continues to be protected since there is an Executive Order (GL5) from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury that prevents the execution of any credit by the holders of the PDVSA 2020 Bond.
5. This protection provided by the US Department of the Treasury was renewed at the beginning of October 2020 and will be maintained at least until January 19, 2021, thus granting an adequate margin of time to continue advancing in the procedural strategy of defense of CITGO.
6. From the Legitimate Government, we continue working with our allies, especially the United States Government, so that protection is maintained and advance towards the definitive preservation of CITGO for all Venezuelans. This has been stated repeatedly by the Treasury Department, the Justice Department and the US State Department, especially in communications sent by Elliott Abrams, US Special Representative for Venezuela.
7. Finally, we want to reiterate that at no time have we tried to repudiate this debt or, in general, the rest of the private claims against the State. The Interim Government of Guaidó has permanently expressed its intention that the Venezuelan State can comply with the obligations legitimately contracted with the endorsement of the National Assembly. For this, there must be an evaluation and organized restructuring of debt or obligations contracted, jointly with the counterparts, which will be possible after a democratic transition. Unlike the corrupt dictatorship, we believe in the rule of law and in justice.
Caracas, October 16, 2020