The appointment of Alí Rodríguez on 19 April as head of Venezuela’s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) was widely endorsed by government critics. It had come just days after a dispute between company executives and President Hugo Chávez triggered a botched military coup attempt. The widely anticipated appointment of Rodríguez was viewed as necessary in order to improve relations between the government and PDVSA.
In the aftermath of the political upheaval – which saw Chávez
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