Ex-president of Citgo suffers mild heart attack in Venezuela jail


CARACAS (Reuters) - The former president of oil refiner Citgo, a U.S. subsidiary of Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, suffered a mild heart attack in prison in Caracas and was transferred to a hospital, his lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday.

Jose Pereira is one of six former company executives, all naturalized U.S. citizens, who were detained by Venezuelan authorities in 2017, accused of signing an unfavorable debt refinancing deal.

Pereira suffered "a mild cardiopathy" and is stable, his lawyer Maria Alejandra Poleo said.

Pereira and his former colleagues had their house arrest revoked 10 days ago, after Venezuelan government envoy Alex Saab was extradited from Cape Verde to the United States.

"We got a call from our dad today, he has been released from the clinic and returned to El Helicoide (prison), it is not clear what happened, he says he remembers nothing," Pereira's family said on Twitter.

The Information Ministry and the attorney general's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The supervisory boards of Citgo have held talks with U.S. officials seeking to extend Washington's protection while Citgo pursues negotiations with creditors, Reuters reported last week.

(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago and Vivian Sequera; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Chris Reese)

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