President Maduro has appointed military general Manuel Quevedo as the new head of Venezuela’s PDVSA and the energy ministry. Maduro called the move a “revolution” toward ending corruption in the oil sector. This move is also largely an effort to hopefully increase productivity of the company. In the past, PDVSA has accounted for 95% of the country’s exports. However due to circumstances such as corruption, the bonds of the state’s oil company make of approximately 30% of Venezuela’s external debt. It has yet to be made clear how general Quevedo will work to increase productivity, however Maudro has put a heavy emphasis on anti-corruption efforts. This move shows that Maduro is beginning to address the daunting economic crisis that the country is experiencing. Increasing oil production can only serve to help the economy, which has reached an inflation rate of 4,000%. US sanctions will however make the exportation of the oil more difficult. It is also troubling that the new head of the PDVSA appears to be just another one of Maduro’s loyal supporters, however the shift from blaming the opposition to blaming corruption and publicly addressing these problems suggests the possibility of progress for the nation.

Kelsey Burham