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PdV: 'appendix of the revolution'

Former Petróleos de Venezuela (PdV) chairman and chief executive, Luis Giusti, on Venezuela's falling oil production, the threat to the apertura process, and Chávista politics. Interview by Ayesha Daya

IF YOU ARE a poor Venezuelan, and have been benefiting from the arrival of thousands of Cuban doctors, you will probably love Hugo Chávez. If you are a Latin American country receiving subsidised – in Bolivia's case, free – Venezuelan oil, you would no doubt count him as an ally. And if you live in a poor US neighbourhood that Venezuela has been supplying with cheap fuel, Chávez will not seem like such a bad guy. Such oil-based altruism, however, is less beneficial for Venezuela's economy. Writing in Petroleum Economist in 1994, Luis Giusti, then chairman and CEO of PdV, blamed the exploitation of the national oil industry for Venezuela's dire economic state. Over two decades later, oil is

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