Jose Angel Pereira

Selected Speaker’s Topics:

  • From Captivity to Freedom: Embracing Resilience and the Power of Hope, Love, and Faith
  • Discovering Inner Strength: Unleashing the Power Within You

Jose Pereira was wrongfully detained and held captive in Venezuela for nearly five years, from November 21, 2017, to October 1, 2022. Pereira was one member of the so-called CITGO6. His only crime was that he is an American. Before he was taken hostage, Pereira spent thirty-five years as an oil company executive and CEO of Citgo Petroleum (a US-based refineries complex and broad gas station distribution center.)

Pereira obtained a degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de Oriente (UDO) in Venezuela in 1985. He joined Corpoven, S.A. (now Petróleos de Venezuela-PDVSA (a Venezuelan State-owned company), the fifth-largest oil company in the world at the time. In 1989, he completed his Master of Business Administration at Florida International University through a joint program with Universidad De Oriente (UDO.) In 2012, he received a Diploma in International Taxation from Santiago de Compostela University in Spain.

Throughout his career, Pereira held several managerial positions in various PDVSA subsidiaries worldwide. He was assigned to numerous Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) JVs with Ente Nationale Idrocarburi (ENI), including ENI—Italy, Inpex—Japan, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC)—China, Statoil—Norway, Total—France, and Chevron, Conoco, and Exxon—US. He was the CFO of CVP (a PDVSA affiliate of the international JVs) and rose to become the CEO of Citgo Petroleum, replacing Nelson Martinez, who later became the Ministry of Petroleum and the President of PDVSA.

Pereira was part of the great oil and petrochemical projects in Venezuela in the 80s, launching PDVSA to become one of the top five companies in the international oil business. He actively participated in several managerial positions, including the “Apertura Petrolera” (privatization of the oil fields in Venezuela) in the 90s—the most extensive privatization of state-owned companies at that time. Pereira was integral in directing the internationalization of PDVSA in the late 90s and early 2000s and the re-nationalization of PDVSA in 2006-2007. He was also part of the PDVSA team that created Corporación Venezolana de Petróleos (CVP.) This affiliate managed more than forty JVs with international oil companies in Venezuela. His strategic leadership promoted him to the US-based CFO and CEO positions of Citgo Petroleum, which he held until his retirement.

While at the top of his career as Citgo’s CEO (the sixth biggest refinery complex in the US), Pereira was called to attend a business meeting in Caracas at Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA)—(the parent company of Citgo)—headquarters. On that day, the Venezuelan regime accused him of corruption, espionage, and treason, among other false charges, and captured and imprisoned him. This nightmare lasted 1,775 days—four years and eight long months.

After the United States Government orchestrated his release, Pereira turned his focus to advocating and supporting hostage families enduring similar nightmares and broken processes. His experience made it clear that what he survived can help others that are struggling to be able to overcome, thrive, and succeed in any circumstance. He now speaks to spread a message of resilience, hope, faith, and survival. Pereira is proof that we can conquer anything. He works to combine his career and life experiences with his strategic planning and relentless mindset approach to coach others through seeming insurmountable situations. He calls this program: LIFE PILLS FOR A SURVIVAL GUIDE (LPSG.)