Oil minister resignation suggests a broader anti-corruption purge in Venezuela

Venezuela’s powerful oil minister Tareck El Aissami resigned after several high-level executives of state-owned oil company PDVSA were arrested for corruption. El Assimai was a critical ally of President Nicolas Maduro and effectively orchestrated the regime’s sanctions avoidance strategy and partnerships with Middle East countries such as Syria and Iran.

In a speech, Maduro called out corruption in the country and said that “very important business people, top officials at state entities and lawmakers” had been arrested in what would be the first phase of a crackdown on corruption. 

A broader purge reflects how Maduro’s grip on power has stabilized along with the economy as graft was a large part of how the regime had managed to keep control against both international and internal pressure

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