The Venezuelan Oil Minister, Tareck El Aissami, has announced his resignation from office as a consequence of the recent cases of corruption that affect the state company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). “By virtue of the investigations that have been initiated into serious acts of corruption in PDVSA, I have made the decision to present my resignation as Minister of Petroleum, with the purpose of fully supporting, accompanying and backing this process,” El Aissami has published in Twitter.
El Aissami has also stated that as a “revolutionary militant” makes itself available to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) led by the Venezuelan presidentNicolás Maduro, to “support this crusade (…) against the anti-values that we are obliged to fight, even with our lives.”
El Aissami held the position of Vice President of the country since 2017. In 2018 he was appointed Sector Vice President of the Economic Area and in 2020 he was appointed Minister of Oil. This same Monday he was informed of the arrest of the pro-government deputy Hugbel Roa in an operation by the National Anti-Corruption Police. Roa was Minister of Higher Education and is now being investigated for corruption crimes at PDVSA, according to judicial sources cited by the Últimas Noticias portal. Roa is associated with a PDVSA subsidiary, specifically with Petrocedeño, a mixed state with shareholdings from France and Norway. “To speak with the president of Petrocedeño, you had to go through Hugbel,” said a source linked to the industry. The former superintendent of crypto assets, Joselit Ramírez, one of El Aissami’s trusted men, has also been arrested. On Sunday, the Public Ministry reported the appointment of five national prosecutors with jurisdiction over corruption, organized crime and human rights. Following these news, the first vice president of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello, has underlined the commitment of the formation in the fight against corruption. “What these things do is unite us more in (Hugo) Chávez. Today the PSUV is in that fight. We are not concerned with what the opposition says because they have no morals. Every time there is something or there is a complaint, we proceed,” he stated in statements released by the party itself. “There are no spaces for negotiations here. There are spaces to defend this homeland. Nothing is going to stop us, there is absolutely nothing that can stop us”, he has warned. Thus, he has indicated that they will not rest “not even for a moment”. “The PSUV has an eye, ear, smell and touch in every corner of Venezuela. Every day I am more convinced that whatever happens, we will win”, has riveted.