CARACAS (AP) – Venezuela’s Public Ministry announced on Tuesday the opening of a new investigation against opposition leader Juan Guaidó for a series of alleged crimes related to the state-owned company Monómeros Colombo Venezolanos SA, based in Colombia and which is under control of the opposition after the sanctions imposed by the United States.
Through his Twitter account, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced the appointment of two special prosecutors in charge of investigating Guaidó for the alleged crimes of “usurpation of functions, treason, conspiracy, qualified theft of assets and criminal association ”.
The process against Guaidó comes at a time when the government of President Nicolás Maduro and the opposition are holding a dialogue to leave the crisis in the country behind. The suspension of economic sanctions and the unfreezing of Venezuela’s assets abroad are some of the main topics of discussion in the dialogues taking place in Mexico. However, US President Joe Biden has the last word when it comes to reversing those measures.
In the dialogues, which were resumed from September 3 to 6, the Norwegian government acts as a facilitator with the support of the United States, the European Union and Canada, among other countries.
The new investigation adds to almost three dozen cases against Guaidó, for crimes that range from usurpation of functions, corruption, money laundering and public instigation to disobedience of the laws, to conspiracy with foreign governments and terrorism.
Also through Twitter, Guaidó classified the accusation as “false” and affirmed that “Venezuelan assets since 2019 are and will continue to be protected so that the dictatorship does not continue looting them, as happened recently with the irregular sale of the Venezuelan refinery in the Dominican Republic. ”.
Last August, the Maduro government announced that the state corporation Petróleos de Venezuela SA transferred its 49% stake in the Refinería Dominicana de Petróleo PDV SA (REFIDOMSA) in exchange for receiving external debt issued by this South American nation and the oil company. Venezuelan.
The agreed purchase price was about 74 million euros or about 88.1 million dollars, about 47.6 million dollars less compared to the sale price that PDV CARIBE, SA, a PDVSA subsidiary, paid to the Dominican Republic. 10 years ago, confirmed the government of Santo Domingo.
Saab’s announcement came a week after Colombia’s Superintendency of Companies took control of Monómeros – a subsidiary of Pequiven, the Venezuelan state corporation in charge of producing and marketing petrochemical products.
The Superintendency, a state entity that oversees commercial companies, “put under control” Monómeros with the purpose of “ordering the necessary corrections to correct a critical situation of a legal, accounting, economic or administrative nature”. Monómeros is one of the assets of the Venezuelan State frozen abroad.
Washington froze all Venezuelan government assets in the United States and prohibited Americans and their international partners from doing business with Caracas to pressure Maduro to leave power. He argues that he was elected in 2018 in a fraudulent election.
Colombia is one of the countries that recognizes Guaidó as interim president after proclaiming himself as such while he was leader of the National Assembly, arguing that the socialist president was reelected in fraudulent elections.
The Maduro government severed relations with Colombia in 2019, noting that Bogotá is promoting plans to force its overthrow.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó discusses with members of the National Guard to allow the entry of opposition legislators to the National Assembly, noting that he will not enter unless everyone is allowed to enter, on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, in Caracas . (AP Photo / Matias Delacroix)