Lawyer appointed by AN: "If Guaidó had not been recognized, Citgo would have been lost today"
"The purpose of the Provisional Government is to protect Citgo as Venezuela's asset, which is essential to its economic recovery and, in particular, to the recovery of the oil industry. If Juan Guido was not recognized as President in charge of Venezuela, Sitgo was lost today as a result of bad practices of the Maduro regime. "
This is Jose Ignacio Hernandez, a special prosecutor appointed by the National Assembly who oversees Venezuela's legal actions in, no more or less, the contradiction of Citgo.
For a lawyer who is also an expert on constitutional law, the New York Court can interpret and apply foreign law, in this case Venezuelan constitutional law, which is applicable to PDVSA's ability to sign a bond agreement and guarantee the shares of a Citgo Holding, Inc.
Hernandez, speaking to this publisher, stated that he was confident that "the agreements issued by the 2020 National Assembly are an important test of the scope of Venezuela's constitutional legislation, which will be taken into account by the New York Court, to rule on the nullity of the 2020 bond '
on the feasibility of implementing a food butter program, in the midst of the impact of US sanctions on the Venezuelan economy, reveals that' it has been examined by the Office, which one o Respond its legal aspects in order to create viable alternatives. Any decision that applies must start with the need to prevent the Maduro regime from controlling or managing tax revenue ̵
– You only said in October that" a bad deal is better than a good trial, "but let's get to trial, why was it not possible? agreement with the owners, in particular PDVSA 2020?
– Negotiations between bondholders 2020 and the ad hoc Administrative Board of PDVSA are confidential, as outlined in these cases. In any case, the position of the Government of the President in charge of Juan Guido has always been to promote a consensual and tidy arrangement of all claims, which in this case must take into account the decisions made by the National Assembly on this matter. If creditors are reluctant to adjust their claims to Assembly decisions, then any negotiation is complicated.
– The National Assembly called for the annulment of PDVSA 2020, which is unconstitutional, but this is not the case in Venezuelan law. Parliament, precisely the interpreter of the Constitution … His action before the New York Court, at least the argument of unconstitutionality that would support it, since none of Côte de York has the authority to interpret our Constitution?
– The New York Court can interpret and apply foreign law, in this case the Venezuelan constitutional law, which applies to PDVSA's ability to sign a bond agreement and guarantee Citgo Holding, Inc. shares shares since February this year, United States courts interpreted and applied D Venezuela stood up to recognize the government of the president in charge of Juan Guido. Therefore, the agreements issued by the National Assembly in connection with the 2020 bond represent an important test of the scope of Venezuela's constitutional law, which will be taken into account by the New York Court to rule on the nullity of the 2020 bond.  – You realized that Citgo was safe, especially after Executive Order 13,884, but the delay in publishing that order cost the Venezuelans $ 72 million, which was paid with interest last April, in the context of a humanitarian crisis like the one on page anata, doesn't that seem like a contradictory signal?
– Paying interest in protest was a difficult decision, but in a cost-benefit analysis it was the right decision, Last April the United States Government was unable to move forward with Citgo and PDVSA could not claim the cancellation of the bond without the immediate risk of losing Citgo. There were therefore two options: either the demand was attempted with a very high risk of losing Citgo, or it was paid in protest to strengthen PDVSA's defenses and improve Citgo's protection conditions, while always maintaining space for negotiations. The major problem that existed was General License Number 5, issued by the United States Government in 2018, which allowed holders to take immediate control of Citgo – even if PDVSA required a debit in 2020
the United States government decided to postpone the application of this permit until January 2020, creating the perfect conditions to require without risk of losing Citgo after exhausting its attempts at a concerted agreement and negotiation.
– In the $ 13 billion case that has been "outstanding" for almost two years, time is running out, the political scene is still not giving clear signals in the country, and these documents could end up in vulture funds, to what extent can this compromise our economic recovery scenario?
– The inherited debt of the Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro regimes is a heavy burden on Venezuela's economic recovery. The negligence and corruption of the Maduro regime aggravated this situation, given the regime's decision to selectively breach its obligations, leading to dozens of lawsuits over tens of billions of dollars. On July 1, the government of President-in-Office Juan Guido published the renegotiation guidelines for all those claims inherited from the Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro regimes, always by consensus and order, but leaving all rights secure against dubious claims.
– You realized that Citgo "will be a major asset for the recovery of the Venezuelan economy", what is the strategy, keep Citgo and then sell it? Or that it is finally starting to generate dividends for its parent company: PDVSA?
– The strategy is set out in the Statute governing the transition: the provisional government's goal is to protect Citgo as Venezuela's asset, which is essential to its economic recovery and, in particular, to the oil industry. If Juan Guido was not recognized as President of Venezuela, today, Sitgo was lost as a result of the bad practices of the Maduro regime.
– In this case, is there still 49.9% of the actions taken against Rosneft that the government pays, in the event of a transition in the country, have you taken a formal approach to the Russians?
– The National Assembly insists that it will not recognize a contract of national public interest that has not been authorized by the assembly itself. The loan that led to the pledged shares of Citgo Holding, Inc. in favor of Rosneft, it was neither controlled by the National Assembly nor properly informed to the public. In addition, the Maduro regime decided to cover this debt beyond the Assembly's control over budgetary management. Rosneft must report on its financial and trade relations with the Maduro regime.
– Last year, the Cedice Property Rights Observatory reported 21 cases against Venezuela at ICSID, except in this case, Chitgo, what is the other front where the republic is at high risk of patrimony?
– Venezuela faces dozens of international lawsuits and arbitrations, not all concentrated in ICSID. On the contrary, the state is a party to many other arbitrations, for example, before the International Chamber of Commerce. All these disputes pose a threat not only to Venezuela's assets abroad, but also to the country's economic recovery.
The Government of the President, charged with Juan Guido, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor, assumed the protection of the State in all these cases and informed the plaintiffs of the intention to seek consent for all these claims. There is no point in pursuing a claim against Venezuela where it is possible and desirable to reach an agreed and orderly solution, always within the Venezuelan constitution. In addition, all private claims will be treated equally – whether there is a decision or an arbitration award
– Beyond the cases which, as a lawyer appointed by the AN, are the political motive. Sanctions, not personal but aimed at the country's economy, continue their course and strike Venezuelans on foot, don't you think it's time to protect the weakest with initiatives with international organizations?
– Sanctions prevent Nicholas Maduro's kleptocratic regime from continuing to steal state resources or direct them to funding criminal organizations. Without these sanctions, the Maduro regime would not use these resources to finance public health and food spending: without sanctions, on the contrary, these resources would be administered only to the benefit of Maduro and his accomplices, and worse, to fund the systematic violation. human rights, as pointed out by various international organizations.
In each case, the government of President-in-Office Juan Guido has asked the US Department of State to establish clear exceptions to sanctions that allow attention to essential health and nutrition needs, as agreed. It also liaises with international organizations to continue to make progress in this regard.
It must be clear, however, that ending the usurpation of Nicolas Maduro's regime is a necessary and indispensable condition for stopping a complex humanitarian emergency. While Maduro remains a power abductor, Venezuela's people will continue to suffer the effects of the humanitarian emergency caused by Chavez and Maduro's predatory policies.
– For example, the proposal for a food oil made by Francisco Rodriguez until the transition arrives?
– The proposal for oil for food has been examined by the service in charge of my legal aspects to create viable alternatives. Any decision that applies must start with the need to prevent the Maduro regime from controlling or managing tax revenue – in this case, oil revenue. Given this, different alternatives are identified.
– Finally … You have been accused by the government of having "cooperated" with Crystallex in the Citgo case, what was your involvement and how was it influenced by his role as a lawyer appointed by Guido and National Assembly?
– As I explained, in 2017 I gave independent expert evidence on the legal regime of PDVSA, in one of the tests promoted by Crystallex. At that time, I banned cases related to the claims of this company. However, some have misrepresented these facts in order to interrogate and slander me, in a vain attempt to weaken the state's legal protection in favor of the Maduro regime and its accomplices.