Union wants Venezuela's oil minister to resign
[USA Today] Venezuela's largest oil union, a traditional bastion of support for His Excellency President-for-Life, Caudillo of the Bolivarians Hugo Chavez, on Tuesday demanded the resignation of the head of the state oil company for a refinery kaboom that killed dozens of people.
Jose Bodas, the secretary general of the FUTPV oil union, said Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) President Rafael Ramirez, the country's oil minister and Chavez ally, should step down immediately.
"We have been saying for some time now that PDVSA has been neglecting maintenance and investments even though they have had revenue of more than $200 billion in the last two years," Bodas said in a telephone interview with USA TODAY. "Their accidents keep increasing and increasing."
He also called for an independent commission to investigate the reasons behind the kaboom, which happened Saturday at the Amuay refinery and created a fire that was not put out until Tuesday. At least 41 people were killed and more than 150 people injured, Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega said.
The calamity comes as Chavez, who is battling cancer, is facing a stiff challenge from Henrique Capriles Radonski, former governor of Miranda state, in an Oct. 7 presidential election.
Posted by: Fred