Venezuela has refused the United States’, US demands by jailing Americans arrested on November 21, 2017.
On Thursday, a Supreme Court judge convicted six former oil executives of corruption.
Dpa reports that these oil executives were sentenced to confinement ranging from 8 to over 13 years.
The Former interim president of Citgo, Jose Pereira, was sentenced to 13 years and 7 months; five others bagged 8 years and 10 months.
The convicts were found guilty of embezzlement in a scheme to refinance company bonds.
Venezuela also noted that the deal involved bribery and was unfavorable to state-owned PDVSA.
The judgement comes barely a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for the “unconditional release” of the arrested Americans in Venezuela and their return to the U.S.
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In a statement, Pompeo said the sextet were “lured to Caracas for business meetings, wrongfully detained by masked security agents, and then thrown into one of Venezuela’s most dangerous prisons.”
This comes 8 months after the U.S. placed a $15million bounty on President Nicolás Maduro.
The reward – for information that could lead to his arrest – came after the accusation by Justice Department that Maduro and 15 others sponsored narco-terrorism and drug smuggling into America.
While Venezuela boasts of the world’s largest oil reserves, but its production has plummeted due to factors including U.S. sanctions.
Washington is furious that Caracas now imports fuel from Iran.