CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez shuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday as his government grapples with numerous domestic ills and his governing party prepares for crucial congressional elections.
Nine top ranking officials were appointed. Most of the outgoing Cabinet members have been selected as ruling party candidates for September’s vote and are some of the socialist leader’s closest collaborators, including Diosdado Cabello, Erika Faria, Hector Navarro, and Luis Reyes.
Francisco Garces Da Silva, formerly the director of Venezuela’s seismological agency, will replace Cabello as the minister of transportation and communication, while Isis Ochoa replaces Faria as the minister of communes and social protection.
Eugenia Sader, a deputy health minister and military officer, takes over from Reyes as the chief of the Health Ministry, and Jennifer Gil replaces Navarro as education minister. Mauricio Rodriguez will take over as information minister, replacing Tania Diaz.