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article imageChavez boots justice minister, vice president

By Iamseven     Jan 4, 2007 in World
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has fired his justice minister, citing a spate of prison violence, and has replaced Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel without explanation.
There was still no change at the Oil Ministry, where Rafael Ramirez will continue to steer energy policy in the country which is the fourth-biggest crude oil exporter to the U.S.
Chavez referred to Venezuela's high violent crime rates and the "painful tragedy" at Uribana jail where 16 prisoners died in a gang fight early this week when firing Interior and Justice Minister Jesse Chacon on Wednesday night.
"It is the result of failings in internal security and infrastructure," Chavez told state television.
Chacon's replacement will be Pedro Carreno, a Chavez loyalist who currently heads a parliamentary judicial commission. It also just so happens that Carreno played a big role in the Chavez's re-election campaign last month.
Jose Vicente Rangel, Chavez's former vice president, was let go without any explanation by Chavez, who said only that "The decision to relieve Jose Vicente of his post was not easy for me because he is like a star pitcher and I regard him with the same respect and affection as a son would a father."
Rangel's replacement is Jorge Rodriguez, a Chavez supporter who was director of Venezuela's electroal commission during a 2004 recall referendum against Chavez.
Rodriguez, also a psychiatrist, is worshipped by many of Chavez's followers because his father was killed after being tortured by the Venezuelan army for alleged involvement with left-wing guerrillas in the 1970s.
Gotta wonder what Chavez is up to.. he seems to be making a lot of dictator-like moves lately. Definitely something to watch, I hope he isn't all other politicians who got a taste of power and turned away from the people.
More about Chavez, Hugo, Venezuela, Socialist, Communist
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