Gustavo Petro wants to return Monomers to Maduro to lower fertilizer prices

Gustavo Petro wants to return Monomers to Maduro to lower fertilizer prices

The elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, announced on Tuesday that he plans to return the administration of the Venezuelan state company Monómeros to the government of Nicolás Maduro to lower the prices of fertilizers in his country.

Petro argued that Maduro, whom the House of Nariño does not recognize as president, but who he plans to recognize as such when he assumes power on August 7, has control of the Venezuelan petrochemical company Pequivén, where the urea used by Monómeros was produced.

In an interview with the Colombian radio medium The WPetro accused current Colombian President Iván Duque of causing the loss of “fundamental raw material” in the agricultural sector and “a financial strangulation, more because of Colombian officials.”

The Venezuelan opposition to the Maduro government maintains control of Venezuelan assets in countries that recognize the leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of that country, including Colombia. The Monómeros Colombo Venezolanos company is managed by officials appointed by a delegate commission of the Parliament elected in 2015 in the neighboring nation of Colombia, but the Duque government intervened it last year amid allegations of corruption and considering that it was at risk of liquidity.

The US government has issued licenses from its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to protect companies run by Venezuelan opponents, such as Citgo and Monómeros, which is part of the state-sanctioned Pequivén. It became known unofficially that Washington approved in recent days the renewal of that license in favor of Monomers and the opposition for one more year, until June 2023.

Petro remarked in his conversation with The W who believed that Pequivén, today in the hands of the Maduro administration, is its majority shareholder. “The majority owner of Monómeros is Pequivén. The business idea is for Pequivén to produce urea. With what the current president (Duke) did, we lost the urea. I don’t know if Guaidó or Leopoldo López (Venezuelan exiled leader of the Voluntad Popular party) are the owners today, but it is not Pequivén. So, we lost the fundamental raw material” in Colombia, he criticized.

He specified that he recently discussed three fundamental issues with Maduro during a telephone call: the resumption of binational trade; the recovery of the border for both countries in terms of security; and Monomers.

“What do we want Monomers for? It is not to hand it over to a Colombian public official so that he privatizes it, stays with that company and becomes an importer of fertilizers. We want Monómeros if we can maintain the supply of urea at reasonable prices, as it was before, and, therefore, we can lower the prices of fertilizers”

Members of Petro’s transition team with the current Colombian presidency had expressed hours before Petro’s interview with The W his disappointment with Monomer management at the hands of the Venezuelan opposition.

“I have a great concern, that Monómeros is still in the hands of Guaidó and that is indeed a concern, Monómeros in the hands of Guaidó was a disaster, it disappeared,” said Luis Fernando Velasco, coordinator of the Petro team for the issue of the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic (Dapre), after a working meeting.

opposing disposition

Petro’s statements about Monómeros come days after the company’s general manager, Guillermo Rodríguez, declared his willingness to work and collaborate with his government.

“We are sitting on the edge of that table with our hands outstretched, immediately ready to collaborate in whatever is necessary,” he told the Petroguía newspaper. “In front of the new government, with great respect, we express our willingness to put all our strength, all our know howall our knowledge and all our expertise to work together with the government, the private sector and unions, which is why the sustainability of Colombian agriculture is fundamental, which is one of the flags that it has presented,” he added.

Rodríguez pointed out that the conversations between company executives and the Petro team were related to addressing Monómeros’ agroeconomic problems and not to its legal and financial situation.

The so-called Delegate Commission of the Venezuelan Parliament of 2015 approved last month an agreement to review and update all the ad hoc administrative boards and directors of the Venezuelan state companies, as well as their subsidiaries, as part of an asset evaluation process “ recovered” abroad.

The initiative includes the creation of a National Asset Protection Council and the promise to choose a consulting company specialized in the subject so that there is a “technical, efficient and transparent” administration of companies such as Monómeros, in Colombia, and Citgo, in the United States. Joined.

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