Maduro replaces oil minister Ramírez in cabinet shuffle
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Maduro replaces oil minister Ramírez in cabinet shuffle

President Nicolás Maduro has replaced Venezuela’s longtime oil minister and economic czar as part of a cabinet shakeup sidelining the most prominent voice within his administration for reforms to address the country’s economic crisis.

Rafael Ramírez had served as oil minister and president of the state-run oil giant PDVSA for more than a decade.

Maduro made the announcement Tuesday night as part of a much-anticipated government restructuring. The president named Ramírez the new foreign minister.

Ramírez will be replaced in his previous jobs by lesser-known officials. He was also forced to give up his year-old post as top economic policymaker, from which he had argued for a currency overhaul and unpopular gas price hikes to help Venezuela tackle an economic crisis marked by 60 percent inflation.

Associated Press