With a new change in the energy sector's dome, Venezuela seems to deliver power to the regime's loyalists. This Sunday, the President Nicolas Maduro has appointed the military Manuel Quevedo as new chairman of the state company PDVSA and Minister of Petroleum. The appointment takes place five days after Tarek William Saab, Attorney general invested by the Chavista Constituent National Assembly, reported the arrest of six high-ranking officials of Citgo, the U.S. oil subsidiary, for alleged acts of Corruption and "treason" in Caracas.
The rise of a military to PDVSA – declared a partial default by the rating agency & Global Ratings – could elevate international tension to the vague possibilities of an increase in crude production. The profile of Major General Quevedo, famous for repressing the opposition protests of 2014, is not that of the typical manager. It has no experience whatsoever in the oil sector.
Until this Sunday he had served as Minister for Housing and Habitat, among other posts related to social programs. Within the Chavismo is associated with Diosdado Cabello, former president of the National Assembly and radical politician.
PDVSA's intervention is evident since August. Saab has announced the arrest of 50 managers of the oil industry for possible irregularities in the last three months. It is a rudder strike in the state that had been directed by Rafael Ramírez, present representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Organization, between 2004 and 2014, and other men with tradition in this company.
On Thursday, Argenis Chávez, a cousin of the late President Hugo Chávez, had been entrusted to govern Citgo. Maduro has appealed to restructuring as a promise of economic awakening in a country on the brink of bankruptcy.
96% of foreign exchange earnings come from the sale of oil in Venezuela. The government has attributed the financial catastrophe to the fall in oil prices and a "war" waged by adversaries, but many experts allocate the decline to poor management of resources.
The Venezuelan head of state has appointed other military personnel in his cabinet. This is José Vielma Mora, in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and international investments, Ildemaro Villarroel, in the Housing and habitat portfolio, and Carlos Osorio as a transport holder.