Venezuela requests warrants for 23 former petrochemical executives -minister

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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela has requested international warrants for the arrest of 23 former executives of a petrochemical company in Colombia, Venezuelan Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami said on Thursday.

President Nicolas Maduro's administration earlier this week said his government recovered control of the Venezuela-owned fertilizer maker Monomeros Colombo-Venezolanos, following a 2019 takeover by the opposition led by Juan Guaido.

Colombia's Superintendency of Companies, responsible for inspection and oversight duties of businesses, this month ratified the company's new board of directors.

The executives are being accused by Venezuela of improperly running the Barranquilla-based company, an overseas unit of Venezuelan state petrochemical company Pequiven, El Aissami said.

The accused "are directly involved ... in all this trickery and plots that have led to the destruction of Monomeros," he said.

They include Guillermo Rodríguez Laprea and Carmen Elisa Hernández, former top executives of Monomeros.

Guaido had taken control of Monomeros shortly after being recognized by the United States and other countries as rightful leader of Venezuela, following Maduro's 2018 re-election, which they called a sham.

The new changes in Monomeros' control come as Maduro and Colombia's newly elected and first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, seek to restore and strengthen economic and military ties.

Colombia's Superintendency of Companies intervened Monomeros since 2021 to re-establish order in the company.

(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Editing by Richard Chang)