Venezuela leader gets tough as state oil row bites
Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2002
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sacked seven dissident state oil executives Sunday in a steely response to a labor protest that some industry sources said was disrupting operations by the world's No. 4 petroleum exporter.
While Chavez and his government insisted that output and exports were unaffected by the conflict in state oil giant PDVSA, Latin America's biggest oil company, the sources said Venezuelan oil shipments were at a standstill at the weekend.
Blowing a soccer referee's whistle and repeating "That's enough", the pugnacious president ordered the PDVSA sackings in a live broadcast in which he also announced a 20 percent increase in the minimum public sector wage and brushed aside a call by labor opponents for a one-day national strike Tuesday. MORE