June 16, 2008
CARACAS -- President Hugo Chávez says he is naming the former chief of Venezuela's state-run oil company as his new finance minister.
Newly named Alí Rodríguez has served as the president of the state oil company and as Venezuela's representative within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. He replaces Rafael Isea as finance minister.
Isea is leaving to campaign for a state governorship.
Chávez announced the appointment during his Sunday radio and television program.
Rodríguez will be partly responsible for controlling soaring inflation and spurring slowing economic growth, which hit a four-year low of 4.8 percent in the first quarter.
Annual inflation in Venezuela reached 29.3 percent in April.