Oil report

Citgo executive detained in Venezuela taken to health clinic -family

Sept 3 (Reuters) - An executive of U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp who has been detained in Venezuela for more than two years has been taken from a Caracas prison to a health clinic, his family said.

Jose Pereira was among six executives of the U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela arrested on embezzlement charges their lawyers say are baseless.

“We received the information that Jose was moved on Friday to a Clinic, due to a respiratory affection, our family and lawyers didn’t knew about this situation,” a Twitter account run by his family wrote earlier this week, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic was heightening their concerns.

Neither Venezuela’s information ministry nor the chief prosecutor’s office immediately responded to requests for comment.

Two of the six former executives were moved to house arrest in July after veteran U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson visited Caracas to seek their release.

This week, Venezuela pardoned dozens of incarcerated activists and politicians, seen by the opposition as political prisoners. The government of President Nicolas Maduro, which has overseen an economic collapse, is viewed as a dictatorship by most western democracies. (Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)