Inaugural committee records filed with the Federal Election Commission show Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA was one of the biggest corporate donors to events surrounding the swearing-in ceremony of President Donald Trump.
The socialist nation, whose people are struggling to get food and medicines, made a $500,000 donation, records released Wednesday show.
PDVSA made the donation through a U.S. affiliate, Citgo Petroleum, soon after offering a nearly 50 percent stake in Citgo to the Russian oil giant Rosneft as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan, The Guardian reported.
Even while accusing the U.S. of trying to overthrow him, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been careful not to antagonize the new U.S. president. But the Trump administration has recently stepped up criticism of Venezuela’s government. In February, Trump met with the wife of a jailed opposition leader at the White House andon Tuesday the U.S. State Department issued a statement decrying violence against protesters.
“Those responsible for the criminal repression of peaceful democratic activity … will be held individually accountable for their actions by the Venezuelan people and their institutions, as well as the international community,” the statement read.
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans took the street Wednesday to protest Maduro and demand new elections, denouncing what they deem a steady slide toward authoritarianism coupled with pressing economic woes that include triple-digit inflation, vast food shortages and a rise in …