“Maduro can no longer call the shots,” Russ Dallen, managing partner of in the New York office of Caracas Capital Markets, an investment bank. “Now, you can support the Venezuelan resistance by buying your gas at Citgo.”
Credit fears still linger, though. Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, has a 49.9 percent stake in Citgo as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan to PDVSA. Russians could try to seize Citgo shares if they stop receiving payments, Dallen said, particularly with a new incentive to wreak havoc on the American and Venezuelan opposition plan.
PDVSA bondholders and Crystallex, a Canadian gold and mining company owed an arbitration award from Venezuela, also pose a threat to the company’s survival. If PDVSA fails to make payments on 2020 bonds, they, too. could move to seize Citgo assets.