Weekly Report - 23 March 2023 (WR-23-12)

VENEZUELA: Oil minister removed in purge

Venezuela’s oil minister, Tareck El Aissami, resigned on 20 March, becoming the highest-profile victim of a purge that was at least nominally undertaken in the name of combating corruption. Given that previous such purges have seemed driven by power plays within the Bolivarian government, rather than a genuine desire to stamp out corruption, rumours are circulating as to the cause of El Aissami’s fall from grace. The corruption investigation, which has resulted in over 20 arrests, reportedly centres around billions of dollars of oil shipments which left the country without payment to the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).

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