By Gulsen Cagatay and Lokman İlhan
ANKARA (AA) - Venezuela’s opposition congress appointed new directors to state oil and natural gas company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and Citgo Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday.
During the country's congress session, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations including the U.S. now recognize as the country's president, previously presented names for board members for oil company PDVSA, and refinery company Citgo, which is considered the country’s most valuable foreign asset.
According to the National Assembly's decision, PDVSA's temporary board members will comprise Simon Antunez, Gustavo Velasquez, Carlos Balza, David Smolansky and Ricardo Prada, while Citgo's board of directors will include Luisa Palacios, Angel Olmeta, Edgar Rincon, Luis Urdaneta, Andres Padilla and Rick Esser.
PDVSA has activities in oil exploration, production, refining and exporting, as well as natural gas exploration and production.
Citgo Petroleum Corporation is a United States-based refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. Headquartered in Houston, it is majority-owned by PDVSA.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions rose when opposition leader Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23 -- a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro.