The Venezuelan military has taken control of PDVSA, the state-run oil company largely responsible for holding up the last of the country’s economy. This Sunday, November 26, President Nicolás Maduro appointed General of the Bolivarian National Guard, Manuel Quevedo, President of the company.
Quevedo will also assume the position of Minister of Petroleum and Energy, giving the general power over Venezuela’s main source of income while deepening the military’s control over the country. Before Quevedo took over, PDVSA was chaired by geophysical engineer Eulogio del Pino. Nelson Martínez served as Minister of Petroleum.
I have appointed M/G Manuel Quevedo as president of PDVSA and minister of petroleum. He is a young revolutionary. I congratulate him publicly for his work at the head of the GMVV, and I want him leading the petroleum project. It’s time for a new revolution in PDVSA.
The main objective for the new President of PDVSA is reportedly to “raise production” of oil barrels, which currently stand at 1.9 million per day. That’s a substantial decrease compared to last year, when production was 2.27 million barrels per day. In 2008, it was 3.2 million barrels per day.
Despite the decrease in production, revenue from oil exports still make up about 96 percent of Venezuela’s foreign exchange revenue. These figures explain one part of a larger ongoing economic crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation is projected to hit 2,300 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan minimum wage is only about US $5.