Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso
|Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo|
|Minister of Development of Venezuela|
20 October 1945 – 24 November 1948
|Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Venezuela|
13 February 1959 – 23 January 1963
|Succeeded by||Arturo Hernández Grisanti|
13 December 1903|
|Died||3 September 1979
Washington D.C., USA
Life and career
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Pérez Alfonzo helped found the political party Democratic Action (AD; Acción Democrática). As Minister of Development during the first democratic government of Venezuela, the short-lived administration of Rómulo Betancourt (1947–1948), was responsible for increasing oil revenues for the country by raising taxes through what later became known worldwide as the 50/50 formula.
With the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Rómulo Gallegos by the military in November 1948, Perez Alfonzo sought political asylum in the United States after spending 9 months in jail. He moved to Mexico for financial reasons, where he resided until the return of democracy in 1958, when the democratically elected President Rómulo Betancourt called him back to government service to finish the job he had begun under the presidency of Gallegos, this time as Minister of Energy. During the years he spent in Washington he studied the activities of the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC), which served to reinforce his ideas about creating OPEC, further developing his thoughts about conservation and stabilization of petroleum production and the defense of oil prices.
Service under Betancourt government
As Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons during the second democratic government of Venezuela, the administration of Rómulo Betancourt (1959–1964), was responsible for the creation of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) for the purpose of rationalizing and thereby increasing oil prices in the world market. Triggered by a 1960 law instituted by American President Dwight Eisenhower that forced quotas for Venezuelan oil and favored Canada and Mexico's oil industries, Betancourt reacted seeking an alliance with oil producing Arab nations as a pre-emptive strategy to protect the continuous autonomy and profitability of Venezuela's oil, establishing a strong link between the South American nation and the Middle East region that survives to this day. His extensive notes of the TRC methods for regulation of production to maximise recovery served him well both in Venezuela and later when he took them translated into Arabic to El Cairo meeting that served as launching platform for OPEC and where Wanda Jablonski introduced him to then minister of petroleum of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Tariki, co-founder of OPEC.
|“||Ten years from now, twenty years from now, you will see: oil will bring us ruin… Oil is the Devil's excrement.||”|
- Hundiéndonos en el excremento del diablo, Caracas: Editorial Lisbona, 1976.