What Happened: The board of directors of state-run energy company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) appointed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, Venezuela's internationally backed interim president, asked the government of Jamaica not to seize PDVSA's 49 percent stake in an oil refinery in Jamaica, Reuters reported June 15. The Jamaican Senate had authorized the seizure in February, apparently to avoid the risk of U.S. sanctions.
Why It Matters: Guaido's efforts to protect PDVSA assets abroad reveal the weakness of his position, in which he and his representatives can merely ask creditors or governments not to seize Venezuelan property.
Background/Context: PDVSA and the Venezuelan government have defaulted on tens of billions of dollars in obligations to creditors, suppliers, and arbitration claimants over the past five years. Companies and individuals owed money are using legal mechanisms, such as court orders, to take control of PDVSA and Venezuelan government property as repayment.
- Venezuela: A Rapid Decline in Oil Production Raises the Risk of More Chaos (May 15, 2019)
- Why Do Coups Fail? One Simple Question Holds the Answer (May 8, 2019)
- Venezuela: Guaido Proposes Landmark Oil Reforms (March 3, 2019)