Economy March 27, 2019 | 1:26 pm

Refinery spat widens Dominican Republic-Venezuela rift

Better times. N. Maduro, D. Medina

Santo Domingo.- Felix Jimenez, CEO of the Dominican Petroleum Refinery (PDV), on Wed. affirmed that the State-owned company does not owe one dollar to Venezuela for the supply of crude or derivatives.

The affirmations comes just weeks after the Dominican Republic in the OAS voted to recognize Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

Jimenez refuted statements by Nicolas Maduro’s communication minister Jorge Rodríguez, noting that the last dispatch of crude from Venezuela was received on December 15, 2015, and paid on January 10, 2016.

He said the purchases have always been made through the Finance Ministry, since Refidomsa PDV has never bought oil directly from Venezuela.

Regarding the finished products, the official said that the last shipment of diesel and jet fuel (avtur) from that country was received on March 8, 2017, and paid on March 22 of that same year.

In a press conference Jiménez responded to recent statements by Rodriguez in which he referred to an alleged debt of US$240 million.

He also refuted Rodríguez’s claim on the value of the 49% stake held by PDV Caribe, a PDVSA subsidiary, on Refidomsa PDV, “which is far from reaching 600 or 700 million dollars.”

He said the sanctions of the United States and the European Union against Maduro’s government affect Refidomsa’s operations. “For that reason, president Danilo Medina asked president Maduro about the Dominican government’s need to buy the shares from Venezuela.”

Jiménez revealed that the two leaders agreed to the sale, during a bilateral meeting during the inaugural of Mexico president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on December 1, 2018, “in which they specifically spoke of 200 million of dollars.”

“President Maduro assured that the following Monday he would send a representative of PDVSA to negotiate with us and, nevertheless, Monday the 17th has passed, we are still waiting for him.”