Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pledged Monday to retaliate against the United States for its new sanctions on state oil company PDVSA.
"I have given specific instructions to the head of PDVSA to launch political and legal action, in US and international courts, to defend the property and assets of Citgo," PDVSA's US-based subsidiary, Maduro said on state television.
"With this move, they are trying to steal Citgo from us, the Venezuelan people. Be on alert, Venezuela!" Maduro said at a ceremony welcoming home diplomats recalled from Washington following the US decision to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the acting president.
Guaido, the current leader of the opposition-led National Assembly -- which Maduro does not recognize -- said Monday that he would take control of Venezuela's foreign assets to keep Maduro from commandeering them in an eventual full exit from power.
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