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Venezuela's oil minister replaced in a shake-up amid economic crisis
Venezuela's oil minister replaced in a shake-up amid economic crisis

President Nicolas Maduro replaced Venezuela’s petroleum and mining minister, who ran the state-owned oil company, in an apparent move to shore up support for the socialist economic model put in place by late leader Hugo Chavez. Rafael Ramirez, who became energy and mines minister in 2002, is thought to have been pressuring Maduro to make more free-market concessions in a bid to ease the economic crisis gripping the country. Venezuela suffers from accelerating inflation, rising debt and declining oil revenue. Maduro, who announced a Cabinet shake-up during a three-hour televised speech late Tuesday, briefly praised Ramirez, who has been appointed foreign minister. “He was at...

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