A former Citgo oil executive who was detained in Venezuela for nearly five years filed a lawsuit in a Texas court against his former employer, seeking US$100 million in compensation.
Citgo is a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state PDVSA, but as a result of the current political situation in that country it is controlled by a board of directors that appointed the National Assembly elected in 2015, still recognized by the United States as the legitimate government of the South American country.
Tomeu Vadell and his family point out in the text of the complaint, filed this Tuesday before the Harris County State Court, that Citgo knew there was an “extremely high risk” when sending it to Venezuela in November 2017, and yet it was.
“Citgo knowingly and substantially contributed to and participated in Tomeu’s unlawful arrest and detention, including, but not limited to, sending Tomeu to Venezuela on an alleged ‘business trip’ under false pretenses,” the court document states.
Due to his “arbitrary” arrest and imprisonment, Vadell and his family have indicated that they continue to suffer “serious injuries and damages” and demand compensation for, among other things, medical and legal expenses.
A Citgo spokesperson told CNN that the company sympathizes “tremendously” with Vadell and his family, and has supported them financially. But he denied that they were responsible for what happened.