Venezuela’s Maduro Names New Ministers on Twitter From Qatar

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro took to Twitter today to appoint new ministers after extending an international tour for “solid” oil prices to Qatar.

Maduro, who arrived in Doha by surprise after traveling to Vietnam and China earlier this week, named Jesus Salazar as minister of the presidency, Clara Vidal as indigenous peoples minister, and Rodulfo Perez as education minister, among other appointments.

“Thank you for your work, leadership and commitment to the legacy of our Commander Hugo Chavez,” Maduro said, adding that the appointments will allow the replaced ministers to focus on National Assembly elections set for December.

Maduro said Thursday that he talked to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Beijing and agreed on “initiatives” to bring stability to the oil market. Venezuela, which has seen its export revenue collapse with the price of oil, wants to see prices return at least $70 a barrel, he said.

The South American country said today that its average export price rose 16.9 percent from last week to $42.66 a barrel, still down 54 percent from last year.

On Tuesday, Maduro said he obtained a new loan for $5 billion from China to increase oil production. He last visited Doha in January.

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani visited Caracas in May, when Maduro said he was working with OPEC to stabilize oil at around $100 a barrel.

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