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Jose Pereira

Jose Pereira

Cypress, Texas

Jose Ángel Pereira was unjustly detained and held captive in Venezuela for almost five years, from November 21, 2017 to October 1, 2022. Pereira was a member of the so-called CITGO6.

His only crime was being an American. Before being taken hostage, he spent thirty-five years as an oil company executive and CEO of Citgo Petroleum (a US-based refinery complex and extensive gas station distribution center).

Pereira earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de Oriente (UDO) in Venezuela in 1985.

He joined Corpoven, S.A. (today Petróleos de Venezuela-PDVSA (Venezuelan State company), the fifth largest oil company in the world at that 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 the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Throughout his career, Pereira held several management positions in various PDVSA subsidiaries worldwide.

He was assigned to numerous joint ventures of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) 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—USA

He was chief financial officer of CVP (a subsidiary of PDVSA's international joint ventures) and rose to become CEO of Citgo Petroleum, replacing Nelson Martínez, who later became Minister of Petroleum and president of PDVSA.

Pereira was part of Venezuela's large oil and petrochemical projects in the 1980s, launching PDVSA to become one of the top five companies in the international oil business.

He was actively involved in several management positions, including the "Apertura Petrolera" (privatization of oil fields in Venezuela) in the 1990s, the most extensive privatization of state-owned companies at that time.

Pereira was instrumental in directing the internationalization of PDVSA in the late 1990s and early 2000s and in the renationalization of PDVSA in 2006-2007.

He was also part of the PDVSA team that created the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation (CVP). This subsidiary managed more than forty JVs with international oil companies in Venezuela.

His strategic leadership promoted him to the positions of CFO and CEO of US-based Citg Petroleum, which he held until his retirement.

While at the peak of his career as CEO of Citgo (the sixth largest refinery complex in the United States), Pereira was called to attend a business meeting in Caracas at the headquarters of Petróleo de Venezuela (PDVSA), (Citgo's parent company).

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 focused on defending and supporting hostage families enduring similar nightmares and broken trials.

His experience made it clear that what he survived can help others who struggle to overcome, thrive and succeed in any circumstance.

He now speaks to spread a message of resilience, hope, faith and survival in a speech titled:
"From Captivity to Freedom: Overcoming adversity and trauma to build resilience: with a message of Love, Faith and Hope"

Pereira is proof that we can conquer anything.

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About the author

sé Ángel Pereira fue detenido injustamente y mantenido cautivo en Venezuela durante casi cinco años, desde el 21 de noviembre de 2017 hasta el 1 de octubre de 2022. Pereira era miembro del llamado CITGO6.

Su único delito fue ser estadounidense. Antes de ser tomado como rehén, pasó treinta y cinco años como ejecutivo de una compañía petrolera y director ejecutivo de Citgo Petroleum (un complejo de refinerías con sede en Estados Unidos y un amplio centro de distribución de gasolineras).

Pereira obtuvo una licenciatura en Administración de Empresas de la Universidad de Oriente (UDO) en Venezuela en 1985.

Se incorporó a Corpoven, S.A. (hoy Petróleos de Venezuela-PDVSA (empresa del Estado venezolano), la quinta empresa petrolera del mundo en ese momento.

En 1989 completó su Maestría en Administración de Empresas en Florida International University a través de un programa conjunto con la Universidad De Oriente (UDO).

En 2012, recibió un Diploma en Fiscalidad Internacional de la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela en España.

A lo largo de su carrera, Pereira ocupó varios cargos directivos en diversas filiales de PDVSA a nivel mundial.

Estuvo asignado a numerosas empresas conjuntas de Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) con Ente Nationale Idrocarburi (ENI), incluidas ENI—Italia, Inpex—Japón, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC)—China, Statoil—Noruega, Total—Francia y Chevron. Conoco y Exxon—EE.UU.

Fue director financiero de CVP (una filial de PDVSA de las empresas conjuntas internacionales) y ascendió hasta convertirse en director general de Citgo Petroleum, en sustitución de Nelson Martínez, quien más tarde se convirtió en Ministerio de Petróleo y presidente de PDVSA.

Pereira formó parte de los grandes proyectos petroleros y petroquímicos de Venezuela en los años 80, lanzando a PDVSA a convertirse en una de las cinco principales empresas del negocio petrolero internacional.

Participó activamente en varios puestos directivos, incluida la "Apertura Petrolera" (privatización de los campos petroleros en Venezuela) en los años 90, la privatización más amplia de empresas estatales en ese momento.

Pereira fue fundamental en la dirección de la internacionalización de PDVSA a finales de los 90 y principios de los 2000 y en la renacionalización de PDVSA en 2006-2007.

También formó parte del equipo de PDVSA que creó la Corporación Venezolana de Petróleos (CVP). Esta filial administró más de cuarenta JV con compañías petroleras internacionales en Venezuela.

Su liderazgo estratégico lo promovió a los puestos de director financiero y director ejecutivo de Citg Petroleum, con sede en Estados Unidos, que ocupó hasta su jubilación.

Mientras se encontraba en la cima de su carrera como director general de Citgo (el sexto complejo de refinería más grande de Estados Unidos), Pereira fue llamado a asistir a una reunión de negocios en Caracas en la sede de Petróleo de Venezuela (PDVSA), (la empresa matriz de Citgo).

Ese día, el régimen venezolano lo acusó de corrupción, espionaje y traición, entre otros cargos falsos, y lo capturó y encarceló. Esta pesadilla duró 1.775 días: cuatro años y ocho largos meses.

Después de que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos orquestó su liberación, Pereira se centró en defender y apoyar a las familias rehenes que soportaban pesadillas similares y procesos rotos.

Su experiencia dejó en claro que lo que sobrevivió puede ayudar a otros que luchan por superarse, prosperar y tener éxito en cualquier circunstancia.

Ahora habla para difundir un mensaje de resiliencia, esperanza, fe y supervivencia en un discurso titulado:
"Del Cautiverio a la Libertad: Superar la adversidad y el trauma para construir resiliencia: con un mensaje de Amor, Fe y Esperanza"

Pereira es una prueba de que podemos conquistar cualquier cosa.
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Hostage US

Hostage US is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports families of Americans taken hostage or wrongfully detained abroad and supports hostages and detainees when they return home.

Each year, an estimated 200 Americans are taken hostage overseas. We are here to help families survive this terrifying ordeal and help former hostages rebuild their life after captivity. For more information on Hostage US please visit

Hostage Aid Worldwide

Hostage Aid is a non-profit NGO 501(c)(3) that was recently established in September 2020 by a group of former hostages from around the world, families of hostages and subject matter experts, all of whom, based on their different personal experiences as well as suffering have banded together to fight for the release of hostages globally while aiming to prevent this inhumane act of hostage taking from occurring against other innocent people.

HAW will complement the great work that is being carried out by other important organizations that help and advocate for hostages. In addition to providing humanitarian relief and support to current and former hostages who were unlawfully detained, HAW is aiming to work closely with technology experts and different stakeholders to scientifically address the hostage taking “business model” by identifying ways to target different components of this model and disrupt its operation. This will be done by a state-of-the-art scientific and data-driven approach to state sponsored hostage taking which is being developed as a tool with an aim to put an end to hostage taking.

To this end, HAW is in the process of initiating a hostage tracking system powered by artificial intelligence that will assist governments struggling to deal with the global hostage crises and can be used as a significant tool to achieve tangible outcomes.

See for more.

James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

Inspired by the life, work, and moral courage of American journalist, educator and humanitarian James W. Foley, we catalyze action, research and policy to advocate for freedom of all US nationals wrongfully detailed or held hostage abroad, to ensure government accountability to prioritize their safe return and to educate and protect journalists and international travelers.

Amer Fakhoury Foundation

The Amer Fakhoury Foundation fights for all victims of illegal detention as well as victims living under radical and corrupted governments. We look to provide advocacy, emotional, and financial support to the victims and their families. We work to ensure anti-torture laws are created and implemented in countries that enforce torture on helpless victims.

Our founders are the daughters of the late Amer Fakhoury. Amer was kidnapped and held hostage by Hezbollah, a recognized terrorist organization. Separated by force from his family, and under extreme physical and emotional torture, Amer was coerced to sign false documents which were later used against him to keep him imprisoned in Lebanon. After several months of his family and the United States Government fighting for his freedom, Amer was finally released on March 19th, 2020. However, due to the torture, abuse, and maltreatment he received during his unlawful detention, he passed away shortly after his return home. Together, we will fight tirelessly to advocate for the release or rescue of hostage victims.

With your help, we can save lives, bring justice to those denied it, and comfort to those impacted.





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Success! From Hero to Villain has already sold 44 pre-orders , was pitched to 17 publishers , and will be published by United Book Publishers .
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$30 Order Today + Support the Hostage Community

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Order "From Hero to Villain" and support the hostage community.

Jose has selected the following organization to donate 30% from each sale as a contribution to help aid their important efforts:

1) Foley Foundation
2) Hostages US
3) Hostage aid worldwide
4) Amer Fakhoury Foundation

Following the checkout, you will be given the option to specify an organization to receive your donation, otherwise it will be split equally to all 4.

Additionally, as first to support Jose on his journey to publishing, readers who order a copy through Publishizer will also receive an invitation to a free group masterclass with Jose live on Zoom.

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$50 Signed Print Copy

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Readers who pre order this bonus will receive a copy signed personally by Jose!

+ 30% donated to support the hostage community

+ Free group masterclass with Jose live on Zoom.

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$500 5 Print Copies + Exclusive Group Masterclass with Jose

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5 Print Copies of "From Hero to Villain"

+ 30% donated to support the hostage community

+ Exclusive group masterclass with Jose live on Zoom.

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$996 Group Speaking Engagement (Virtual) + 25 Copies

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Through these various speaking topics, Jose Pereira shares his story of being held hostage and how we can overcome adversity through resilience, hope, love for the family, and faith in God. He discusses how he survived his tragic experience daily, week by week, month by month, year by year until he returned after 1775 days of captivity.

With this bonus, readers receive 75 copies and a Virtual Speaking engagement with Jose, selecting from the following Speaking Topics:






**This can be upgraded to a live, in person event for an additional cost. Email to learn more **

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Update #4 - Shout Out DFW Magazine interview: Meet Jose Angel Pereira Ruimwyk Adversity & Resilience Coach,Motivational Speaker and Authoritle Nov. 7, 2023

Meet Jose Angel Pereira Ruimwyk | Adversity & Resilience Coach,Motivational Speaker and Author

Meet Jose Angel Pereira Ruimwyk 

 Adversity & Resilience Coach,Motivational Speaker and Author

We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Angel Pereira Ruimwyk and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jose Angel, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Jose Angel Pereira, a former oil company executive with thirty-five years of experience and the former CEO of Citgo Petroleum, was unjustly detained and held captive in Venezuela as a member of the CITGO6, a group of six Americans employed by Citgo. His wrongful captivity, based solely on his American nationality, lasted for 1,775 days, from November 21, 2017, to October 1, 2022.

Since returning from his five-year detention, Pereira has reconnected with his family and written his memoir.

He stands up for Americans unlawfully detained overseas and strives to modify US laws concerning these crimes. 

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 clear that what he survived can help others struggling to overcome, thrive, and succeed in any circumstance.

He now does public motivational speaking (“From Captivity to Freedom “) 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 seemingly insurmountable situations. He calls this program: LIFE PILLS FOR A SURVIVAL GUIDE (LPSG).LIFE PILLS FOR A SURVIVOR GUIDE-LPSG COACHING PROGRAM

Pereira wrote his book that actually is in the pre market campaign in English and in Spanish “From Hero to Villain-The true Story of the Citgo6 “ through the editor

What should our readers know about your business?I am an Adversity & Resilience Coach and Motivational Speaker at Coach as a survivor LLC, a coaching service and professional advisory that I founded after being a hostage in Venezuela for five years and 35 year as Top executive, CFO and CFO in the Oil and Gas Industry

I help CEO's & Business through my coaching Program in refining their management competencies, overcoming challenges, and strengthening their tenacity. Our program distinguishes itself by primarily focusing on empowering CEO's’ leadership capabilities, promoting growth in management performance, addressing intercommunication obstacles, enhancing employee engagement, resolving teamwork issues, orchestrating team-building experiences, and facilitating tailored one-on-one or group coaching sessions.

Facilitate also CEO's and businesses in assessing the risks involved in overseas business travel and the relocation of staff as expatriates for international operations. 

Our specialized training programs are meticulously designed to prepare individuals and teams, leveraging our extensive experience in handling expatriates. We focus on enhancing situational awareness, refining crisis management capabilities, and fostering cultural sensitivity during international assignments. In case of an unfortunate hostage situation, our coaching services are ready to provide guidance in making informed decisions, while our established network with government agencies, non-government organizations, media outlets, and journalists enables us to offer support to the victims and their families.

I come with a wealth of 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, where I held executive positions such as CFO and CEO of Citgo Petroleum leading strategic planning, financial management, and joint ventures in multicultural environments.

My mission is to help the CEO's, & Business Owners to improve their performance, to improve their leadership,to enhance their communication skills, improve there mindset & make there companies be successful

We also have a signature Speech “From Captivity to Freedom’: that you can contract to boost and inspire your Management Team & Employees in your Companies.

I have over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, where I held executive positions such as CFO and CEO of Citgo Petroleum and PDVSA, leading strategic planning, financial management, and joint ventures in multicultural environments.
My mission is to help and keep safe the CEO's, and any of his employees to asses the risks or challenges that can become a catastrophic disruption in the operations of their Company

I use my unique perspective and expertise to coach, speak, and write about how to survive, thrive, in any circumstance, using my LPSG program (Life Pills for a Survival Guide).

I also advocate for the Hostages Community and raise awareness about Hostage Diplomacy.

I am currently editing a book based on my experience and working on a docu-series for a major streaming service.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? 

If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Galleria Mall

Houston, Texas offers a variety of attractions for tourists:
 1. Space Center Houston: Explore NASA’s Johnson Space Center with interactive exhibits and a glimpse into space exploration.
 2. The Museum of Fine Arts: Home to an extensive collection of art from different cultures and time periods.
 3. Houston Museum of Natural Science: Features fascinating exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to gemstones.
 4. Houston Zoo: A family-friendly destination with a diverse range of animals and exhibits.
 5. Buffalo Bayou Park: A scenic park for walking, biking, and picnicking with beautiful views of the city.
 6. The Menil Collection: A renowned art collection in a distinctive museum building.
 7. Discovery Green: A lively urban park with events, activities, and green spaces.
 8. Minute Maid Park: Catch a Houston Astros game in this modern baseball stadium.
 9. The Galleria: A shopping and dining haven with upscale stores and restaurants.
 10. Space City: Take a day trip to nearby Galveston for its beaches and historic sites.

These are just a few of the many attractions that Houston has to offer for tourists.