Venezuela opposition to appeal decision finding PDVSA 2020 bonds valid

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition said on Friday it planned to appeal a U.S. court ruling that found state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela’s (PDVSA) 2020 bonds, which are backed by a stake in refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp, to be valid.

The opposition, which has standing to represent Venezuela in U.S. courts since Washington recognized National Assembly speaker Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful president last year, sued last year to declare them invalid on the grounds they were issued without the approval of congress.

A U.S. judge ruled last month the bonds, which are backed by half the shares of the parent company of PDVSA subsidiary Citgo were “valid and enforceable.” The opposition defaulted on a payment last year, raising the prospect creditors could seize an ownership stake in the refiner, but U.S. sanctions currently prevent them from doing so.

Lawyers for the opposition filed a notice of their plans to appeal on Thursday, records at the federal court for the Southern District of New York show.

Washington sanctioned PDVSA last year as part of its bid to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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