Friday, October 24, 2014
Venezuela on Friday ousted Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez after he was fingered by pro-government “chavista” groups for being responsible for the deaths of a handful of their leaders during clashes earlier this month. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro made the announcement Friday amid a mini-cabinet shuffle. Taking Rodriguez’s place is Carmen Meléndez, who had been Minister of Defense since July 2013. Gen. Vladimir Padrino López, a government loyalist and outspoken U.S. critic, will become the head of the armed forces. Maduro didn’t mention the controversy swirling around Rodriguez but said the outgoing cabinet member would have “15 days of rest” before being appointed to other duties.