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Venezuela’s election hots up with energy policy visions

As Venezuela’s October election nears, president Hugo Chavez and his challenger Henrique Capriles Rodonski have started to outline different visions for the future of the country’s oil sector

President Chavez has staunchly defended his record managing the oil sector, which has included a campaign to nationalise much of the industry and transform state-run oil giant PdVSA into a champion of his social policies. And he has shown no intention of changing course. “We must retain control of our oil resources for the people,” Chavez said at a rally in Caracas where he formally launched his bid for a fourth term as president. Critics argue that his policies have hobbled PdVSA and left an oil sector that has struggled to translate world-beating oil reserves into higher production. Debt at PdVSA has soared – reaching $32 billion last year –

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