Three New Ministers Designated ahead of Venezuelan Parliamentary Elections

Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has designated new ministers in the areas of communication, women and gender equality and sport, in order to free-up three acting members of his cabinet to stand as potential candidates for the country’s upcoming legislative elections.

By Rachael Boothroyd

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The new ministers from left to right; Desiree Santos, Gladys Requena and Pedro Infante (Albaciudad)
The new ministers from left to right; Desiree Santos, Gladys Requena and Pedro Infante (Albaciudad)
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Caracas, April 29th 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has designated new ministers in the areas of communication, women and gender equality and sport, in order to free-up three acting members of his cabinet to stand as potential candidates for the country’s upcoming legislative elections.

Outgoing ministers, Jacqueline Farias (Communications), Andreina Tarazon (Women and Gender Equality) and Antonio “El Potro” Alvarez (Youth and Sport), were all selected by rank and file members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in assemblies last week to stand as pre-candidates in the party’s internal elections on June 28th. 

On that date, party members will decide who will represent the PSUV as its official candidates in the national legislative elections later this year, when the general public will vote to fill the 165 seats which make up Venezuela’s legislative branch of government, the National Assembly.

“As our ministers are of the people, may they take to the streets. Our grassroots compatriots have rewarded them by choosing them as candidates, and they have called them into battle,” stated the president. 

The three politicians are replaced by longtime journalist, Desiree Santos, who will now serve the government as Communications Minister, lawyer and women’s activist, Gladys Requena, and the current Vice-president for Physical Activity and head of the PSUV’s sport and youth commission, Pedro Infante, who will take up Alvarez’s position. 

Santos, who was described by Maduro as one of the “most important journalists” in the country, was congratulated on her new post by outgoing minister Farias following her designation. 

“Congratulations to comrade Desiree Santos Amaral, a revolutionary cadre who will take on the task of accompanying the president in the area of communications,” tweeted Farias. 

Similarly, Tarazon, who at 25 became the youngest woman to have taken up a ministerial position in Venezuela, also took to her twitter account to express her support for her replacement, who she defined as a “tireless combatant” that would “continue the battle for gender equality”.

On hearing of Infante’s new appointment, many youth groups came forward with messages of support for the activist. Several highlighted that Maduro had chosen a “humble man of the people” for the cabinet role. 

“For us this is a huge commitment which we assume with a lot of modesty and humility, to work with the patriotic youth to keep building this revolution that Comandante Chavez left to us. Count on us to keep building the homeland that Bolivar dreamt of,” stated Infante on news of his appointment. 

The new minister has an undergraduate and masters degree in sports studies, both awarded by the Manuel Fajardo Higher Education Institute in Cuba.