Venezuela's Chavez shuffles cabinet, then tweets about it

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 13, 2012 6:52 PM
Venezuela's Chavez shuffles cabinet, then tweets about it

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez shuffled his cabinet on Saturday then announced the changes from his Twitter account, days after winning a re-election bid that could extend his rule to nearly two decades.

Chavez on Sunday beat opposition challenger Henrique Capriles by a resounding 11 percentage points, giving him a third six-year term to continue his self-styled socialist revolution in the South American OPEC nation.

He named General Nestor Reverol, who has led Venezuela's anti-drugs agency, as the new interior minister. That post is key to addressing the violent crime that is the top complaint of Venezuelans of all social classes.

The shuffle also put new faces in the environment and communications ministries.

He ended several tweets with the phrase "efficiency or nothing," reflecting efforts to address complaints about stifling bureaucracy and half-finished infrastructure projects that at times dogged him on the campaign trail.

He has tapped several key allies to run in elections for state governors in December in efforts to win back states now controlled by the opposition.

Chavez, 58, on Wednesday named Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as vice president. Maduro has been seen as a possible successor to the flamboyant socialist leader since his cancer diagnosis in mid-2011.

Chavez insists he is fully recovered from the disease, but doctors say a relapse cannot be ruled out.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Eric Walsh)