Ramirez becomes energy & mines minister

- Thursday, July 18, 2002

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Venezuela's government has named Rafael Ramirez as energy & mines minister, replacing Alvaro Silva who this week becomes Opec secretary general.

Ramirez previously headed the country's natural gas regulator Enagas and was at its helm during a period marked by its opening to foreign investment. In February he joined the board of state oil company PDVSA, but stepped down shortly after amid a management strike.

Ramirez is the third energy & mines minister since President Hugo Chavez took office in February 1999. Ali Rodriguez, who became chairman of PDVSA in April, was the first.

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