The reasons for punitive actions against the last few remain unclear, and company officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Seniat officials have been pursuing an aggressive "zero evasion" campaign that has helped the government of President Hugo Chavez reach new tax collection records. The president himself has said that all companies must pay their taxes, particularly foreign ones that pay taxes in their home countries but all too often skip what they owe in Venezuela.
Under the President's watch the Seniat is pursuing foreign oil companies with an unpaid tax bill of more than US$3 billion going back several years. The government has also said that oil companies will not be able to continue operating in Venezuela if they refuse to pay what they owe.