Venezuela Crisis Shows That Texas Must Step Into an Energy Leadership Role Beyond Oil

We don’t yet know if socialism will crack apart in Venezuela, but as people scramble for basic necessities, we do know that oil could play a role in the downfall of the oppressive regime and the restoration of a civil society. Put another way, as the Trump administration tries to oust the Venezuelan regime and support interim president Juan Guaidó, a key point of leverage is a boardroom right here in Texas.Venezuela’s state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA, owns a refinery and retail fuels business in Houston: Citgo. As the new Venezuelan government attempts to gain control of the Citgo leadership from socialist leaders, the U.S. has placed sanctions on the oil company’s finances to transfer revenue and assets to Guaidó’s reformist government-in-waiting.The Texas part of the story involves the terrifying arrest of six Citgo executives, five of them U.S. citizens, who had flown to Caracas in late 2017 for a meeting. Upon arrival, the group was arrested on charges of fraud for plans to refinance debt, but some observers said the motivation was political. Those Americans are still living in terrible conditions in a Venezuelan prison, according to reports from their families in Louisiana and Texas.  Continue reading...

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