Watching Government: The army and oil

It should be no surprise that Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez, a former army paratrooper, has turned to the army to help him manage state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.In his election campaign, Chavez had characterized PDVSA as an unresponsive giant in the Venezuelan economy, a state within a state.Following a 4-day strike by oil workers, Chavez recently named Gen. Guaicaipuro Lameda Montero president of PDVSA.Hector Ciavaldini, the former president, claimed he was not dismissed because of his handling of the oil workers' strike but that he quit because he was exhausted from 14 months on the job.Earlier, Chavez had named Gen. Oswaldo Contreras Maza head of PDVSA's US refining...

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