Socialist Venezuela chipped in $500,000 to Trump’s inauguration

Affiliate of Venezuelas state-owned oil company made donation even as President Nicols Maduro accuses US of plotting to ovethrow him

President Nicols Maduro may be struggling to feed Venezuela but his socialist administration still managed to make a $500,000 donation to Donald Trumps inauguration.

Records from Trumps inaugural committee released on Wednesday show that Citgo Petroleum, a US affiliate of Venezuelas state oil company PDVSA, was one of the biggest corporate donors to the swearing-in ceremony.

PDVSA recently offered up a nearly 50% stake in Citgo as collateral for a $1.5bn loan from Russian firm Rosneft. The deal drew criticism from Republicans who worry it sets the stage for Vladimir Putin to take control of American oil.

Even while accusing the US of trying to overthrow him, Maduro has been careful not to antagonize Trump. But Trump has recently stepped up his criticism of Venezuelas government.

The records were released as tens of thousands of protesters joined anti-government demonstrations across Venezuela in what the countrys opposition has called the the mother of all marches.

Two people were shot dead and dozens injured in street battles between protesters and government supporters.

Originally published at: http://www.theguardian.com/us