Frontline World

VENEZUELA - A Nation On Edge, June 2003


Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "A Nation On Edge"

HUGO CHAVEZ'S NEIGHBORHOOD
Leanings of Latin American Leaders

REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK
Dateline Caracas

POWER AT THE PUMP
Players in the Battle for Venezuela's Oil

DIAGNOSIS
Interview With the President's Psychiatrist

FACTS & STATS
Economy, Government, Society and Culture

LINKS & RESOURCES
Anti-Chavez and Pro-Chavez groups, Relations With U.S., Oil, Media

MAP

REACT TO THIS STORY

   


Power at the Pump: Two Players in the Battle for Control of Venezuela’s Oil

Controlling Venezuela means controlling its all-important state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). So when the country's opposition movement launched a national strike to oust President Hugo Chavez in December 2002, its key weapon was the participation of thousands of disaffected oil workers led by a group of oil company executives. They shut down the industry, a crucial supplier of oil to the United States. But Chavez countered by firing 18,000 of the striking oil workers and calling on loyalists like Ivan Hernandez to restart operations. Hernandez came out of retirement to reactivate the Paraguana oil refining complex in northwestern Venezuela, one of the world's largest refineries. Meanwhile, Edgar Paredes, a top leader of the striking oil workers, remains out of a job but is just as determined as ever to see Chavez removed from power.

Interview With Ivan Hernandez

Interview With Edgar Paredes