FROM THE SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 ISSUE
Why did Maduro sideline Venezuela’s oil minister?
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Sept. 2 reassigned Oil Minister and PDVSA chief Rafael Ramírez, making him foreign minister, in a move widely seen as a significant demotion. At the same time, Maduro named Asdrúbal Chávez, late President Hugo Chávez’s cousin, to replace Ramírez as oil minister and tapped Eulogio Del Pino as the new head of PDVSA. Why did Maduro sideline Ramírez, and what does Asdrúbal Chávez bring to the job? What effect will the changes have on Venezuela’s oil industry and PDVSA? What does the move mean for Maduro’s government and foreign investment in Venezuela?
Patricia Ventura Nicolás, senior consultant at IPD Latin America: "Ramírez is no longer Venezuela’s energy czar. It is also important to remember that he no longer heads the country’s economy as vice president of economic affairs. His removal is a result of internal political power struggles and a sign that the left has advanced its agenda after successfully thwarting Ramírez, who was on his way to implementing a handful of sensible economic reforms. Both Chávez and Del Pino are well-known industry professionals. Their promotion seems almost too logical given the otherwise..." MORE
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