Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA runs the risk of losing some of its assets abroad despite safeguards imposed by the United States on the execution of some $150 billion in claims against Venezuela and several of its state-owned companies, due to new legal troubles it will have to face before the US justice system, according to New York-based news agency Redd Latam.
US sanctions against PDVSA impede that its assets be bought or sold, but they can be liquidated to pay off terrorism victims, under a US terrorism law.
An exemption in the US Terrorism Risk Insurance Act allows for victims of terrorism to seize assets despite said safeguards, something to which people who suffered criminal actions or violence from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have reported. Victims’ representatives now seek to confiscate PDVSA’s assets after having obtained judicial orders for accusations that qualify the state-owned company and Venezuelan officials, as instruments of the FARC, Redd Latam stated.
According to the wire service, among the assets at risk are a $117 million debt owed by a New York bank to Pdvsa’s Petrocedeño joint venture; an undisclosed amount from the Petrowarao joint venture; and $41 million in the brokerage account of a Salvadoran unit of Pdvsa.
“The plaintiffs are also pursuing sanctioned individuals close to Venezuela’s leadership, confiscating and auctioning off houses and yachts,” Redd Latam specified.
According to what was published by the news agency, Pdvsa, which has not been involved in legal proceedings in the US for terrorism cases since 2019, reappeared before US courts last February 2, when it requested the opportunity to defend itself against accusations of alleged links with the FARC in a federal court in South Carolina and days later lawyers for the company went to a federal court in Buffalo, New York, to demand the opportunity to speak before US$7 million were delivered in a local bank account to one of the plaintiffs.