Venezuela Arrests Former Oil Minister And Ex-Head Of PDVSA

Tyler Durden's picture

As OPEC is set to celebrate the extension of the cartel's oil production cut for another year in Vienna, Venezuela former-oil minister and the former head of the now defaulted state energy company PDVSA have no reasons to celebrate following their overnight arrests in Venezuela.

Taking a page out of the Saudi "anti-corruption" playbook, Reuters reports citing two sources that Venezuelan authorities detained former Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino and former state oil company PDVSA president Nelson Martinez overnight as a part of a broad anti-corruption probe.

Del Pino, a prolific user of Twitter, last tweeted on November 27, seemingly in good spirits.

The two men had been removed from their posts on Sunday and replaced by a major general, giving the already powerful military further clout, albeit in a sector reeling from under-investment and sliding output. Attention is also on Rafael Ramirez, who was Venezuela's oil czar for a decade and under whom both Del Pino and Martinez ascended.

Maduro fired him from his job as representative to the United Nations on Tuesday, according to sources with knowledge of the information, and summoned him back to Caracas.

It was not immediately clear why the two men were detained. One source in PDVSA said it appeared they were taken for questioning, while another company official said they were "implicated" in the graft investigation. Their detention is the biggest development to date in a months-old probe at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries member. 

As reported previously, the Maduro regime has been cracking down on PDVSA personnel, scapegoating the company for the nation's energy woes, and replacing company professionals with members of the military in what appears to be a slow-motion military coup which preserves army control of Venezuela's biggest asset.

State prosecutor Tarek Saab was due to hold a press conference to announce new arrests later on Thursday.

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youngman's picture

Doing it the Saudi way....give me back the money you stole and I might set you free....as for putting military guys in charge of the oil company....see ya....not going to work...no oil in three years is my guess

just the tip's picture

that must have been one sweet deal maduro got in moscow.

SmittyinLA's picture

El Supremo say turn sludge oil into gasoline and diesel NOW

Benjamin123's picture

Chavez replaced all PDVSA managers with military men back in 2003, his answer to the general strike that ended in the faux coup.

gallistic's picture

Well fuck, if you say so it must be true...

 

 

Benjamin123's picture

What is that suppsed to mean?

I lived in caracas at the time of the coup. Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_general_strike_of_2002–03

In the aftermath of the strike, the government fired 18,000 PDVSA employees, 40% of the company's workforce, for "dereliction of duty" during the strike.[25] Arrest warrants were issued for the presidents of Fedecamaras (Carlos Fernandez) and the CTV (Carlos Ortega). Involvement in government efforts to maintain food and gasoline distribution saw turning points in the careers of leading businessmen Ricardo Fernández Barrueco and Wilmer Ruperti respectively.

This is one of the earliest military appointees in PDVSA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaicaipuro_Lameda_Montero

Im surprised to read he was appointed so soon, already in 2000, before the strike and "gente del petroleo" were sacked en masse. Just goes to show how Chavez ran things. His appointment was not linked to any coups or strikes, but thats just how he did things.

gallistic's picture

BTW Brain, the "faux coup"- that was very real for three entire days- happened in 2002; well before the subsequent overthrow attempt via oil strike.

 

Benjamin123's picture

Im talking about the replacement of PDVSAs managers. They were all fired and replaced with military men.

And the coup was fake. General Lucas Rincon went on TV saying he overthrew Chavez, that he gave him his resignation, and was allowed to remain in the army. However Chavez managed to identify everyone who joined or supported the coup as disloyal.

Chavez supposedly was arrested by the army. Who else can execute a coup? Civilians and foreign powers can bribe the military to do a coup, but only the local military, in any country, can actually do it. None of the generals involved were punished, what kind of failed coup is that? When Chavez failed in his coup in 1992 he surrendered and was sent to jail. Again, what kind of failed coup that isnt fake doesnt end with the perpetrators not dead or in jail?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_general_strike_of_2002–03

BritBob's picture

Venezuela appears for the first time as "not free" country report of Freedom House organization attributed the new category to "the combination of extreme economic mismanagement and heavy-handed Government" of President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro is a keen supporter of Argentina's mythical Malvinas claim even speaking at regional conference on behalf of Argentina (CELAC). Seriously, have you heard of a territory being usurped in the 19th century?

 

Falkland Islands – The Usurpation (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/34838377/Falkland_Islands_The_Usurpation

Neither have I.

buzzsaw99's picture

+1 bob.  always true to form.

HowdyDoody's picture

Sorry to break it to you, ShitBob, but the whole world (with the possible exception of your mom) doesn't give a fuck about your views.

gallistic's picture

-1

You are a ridiculous one-trick-pony.

Why don't you switch slightly and try defending the "ownership rights" of the insufferably ridiculous, increasingly irrelevant, pathetic colonialist Brit-Bobs to a big rock in the water that is literally attached to the mainland of Spain?

It would be a welcome break.

 

We are absolute idiots, but we stick to our ignorance and double down on it!

God save our ridiculous and anachronic Queen!

Benjamin123's picture

Shes not a real queen, dumbass. She is kept for ceremonial purposes, along with the rest of the royal family. None of them have any power and serve as living touristic attractions. 

Michigander's picture

Scapegoats required...Its not Maduro's fault. HE'S as Socialist and HE knows what HE's doing.

To Hell In A Handbasket's picture

So how is the USSA system working out of crony capitalists? At least the Venezuelans don't have a political class of fucking NONCE'S. You Yanks will no them better as paedophiles. Americans are in situation to laugh at anybody.

That's all you boneheads can come up with. Socialist. Pull your head from your arse and analyse, instead of throwing around words you don't understand. 

RedBaron616's picture

What's to analyze? Maduro is effectively President for life and he replaced their form of national assembly with a bunch of his hand-picked cronies. He is nationalizing everything.

Have I missed anything? There you have it: A Socialist Tyrant running his country into the ground. Another Socialist Utopia. Please move there.

Benjamin123's picture

Caracas is far worse.

Detroit> 300 murders a year.

Caracas>4000 murders a year, plus starvation.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/caracas-most-violent-city-in-the...

Detroit not even in top 50. Still the most dangerous city in the USA.

gallistic's picture

RedBaron, I simply cannot fathom your ignorance.

RedBaron616's picture

" . . . .replacing company professionals with members of the military in what appears to be a slow-motion military coup which preserves army control of Venezuela's biggest asset. "

If you thought oil production in Venezuela couldn't go any lower, stand by.

gdpetti's picture

Perhaps, but remember that most industry types work in the international marketplace which is still dominated/controlled by us.... same or moreso in banking... if you want to setup global fiat usage, you have to play by our rules... which is why Russia/China is setting up their own system to replace ours. The real question is when were these guys put in power... was it Chavez? did he just let the usual suspects continue doing the job or did he bring in a new team? Putin had this problem in RUssia, as all the oligarchs were tainted with Western corruption... from business to their mafia, heavily pushed with our fiat... same in our ops in Iraq, Afghanistan etc... we throw money all over the place.... as long as we can do so. WHo are these guys? This article doesn't give us any info on them... nothing but a simple statement of their being detained... not worthy of mention until we know WTF is going on with them, with their former jobs etc.

Benjamin123's picture

The replacement was 14 years ago. Every manager in PDVSA is military, and has been for 14 years.

gallistic's picture

BULLSHIT

Prove it lameass.

Benjamin123's picture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_general_strike_of_2002–03#Collapse

In the aftermath of the strike, the government fired 18,000 PDVSA employees, 40% of the company's workforce, for "dereliction of duty" during the strike.[25] Arrest warrants were issued for the presidents of Fedecamaras (Carlos Fernandez) and the CTV (Carlos Ortega). Involvement in government efforts to maintain food and gasoline distribution saw turning points in the careers of leading businessmen Ricardo Fernández Barrueco and Wilmer Ruperti respectively.

These were all replaced with military men. Most ministers and directors of government organizations are generals or coronels. The ealiest example i can think of would be this> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaicaipuro_Lameda_Montero

Dont expect me to compile some list with the managers of every PDVSA and government organization for the past 18 years if thats your standard for "evidence". I lived in caracas during most of Chavez time in power, lived through his 1992 coup, the general strike, the faux coup. Got to see him in person twice. What do you know about Venezuela?

83_vf_1100_c's picture

  If I were one of these profit skimmers and the game was in decline I would be on a beach anywhere other than Venezuela. Always have a bugout plan and activate it before the show is over.

gallistic's picture

ZHers,

Take it (or not) from someone who follows the Venezuela saga very closely.

Zero hedge is the perfect example of what the latest desired "perception effect" is in the ongoing US assault on Venezuela.

Zero hedge has, over several years running, proven itself to be is the perfect mouthpiece of the latest talking points disguised as "news", delivered hot off the .gov press.

Want to know what the current "narrative" on Venezuela is?

You are in the right place.