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Venezuela paid Trump inauguration sum

US offshoot Citgo made $500,000 payment, with ExxonMobil, Transocean and Anadarko also chipping in

Venezuela donated half a million dollars to the inauguration of US President Donald Trump through a US subsidiary, newly-released information has shown.

Citgo Petroleum, a refining subsidiary of state oil giant PDVSA, made the $500,000 donation to the inauguration, a filing from the Federal Election Commission showed.

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The donation was received on 22 December, about one month before Trump’s inauguration after seeing off the challenge of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The payment came not long after PDVSA offered Russian state-backed oil giant Rosneft a near 50% stake in Citgo as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan. That led US independent ConocoPhillips to file proceedings at a Delaware court against PDVSA, alleging the transfer was illegal and was intended to block compensation and damages relating to the 2007 nationalisation of the company’s Venezuelan holdings, which included the giant Petrozuata and Hamaca heavy oil projects.

US supermajor ExxonMobil also chipped in $500,000, with the single payment attributed to a company called ‘Exxon’. This came after then chief executive Rex Tillerson was picked by Trump to be his news Secretary of State.

UK supermajor BP also put in half a million dollars, through BP Corporation North America, while Chevron made a number of donations through Chevron Products Company, one of them also for $500,000.

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Others to contribute to the inauguration included US rig giant Transocean, with one payment from Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling reaching $250,000. Contractor Flour put in $250,000 under Fluor Corporation, with liquefaction player Cheniere Energy chipping in $100,000.

US shale giant Continental Resources pitched in with $100,000, the same as Anadarko Petroleum, with a $25,000 cheque coming from Chevron Products.

The biggest donation was from casino mogul and long-time Republican backer Sheldon Adelson with a whopping $5 million, while telecommunications giant AT&T put in $1 million.

Soft drinks giant Pepsi came in with $250,000, with payments of the same amount also coming from Google and Microsoft, and Amazon making a number of payments, one reaching $50,000.