Rafael Ramírez (Venezuela)

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Rafael Ramirez (right), February 2010

Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (born August 4, 1963, in Pampán, Venezuela) is a Venezuelan engineer, politician, and diplomat. He joined the board of Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company PDVSA in 2002 and served as company president from 2004 to 2014. He also served as Venezuela's Minister of Energy from 2002 to 2014. He was the longest-serving cabinet member under President Hugo Chávez. In 2014, he briefly served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and he has subsequently served as Venezuela's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

Life and career[edit]

Ramírez was appointed to lead the energy ministry in July 2002 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Ramirez had been the founding president of Venezuela's "Enagas", the national regulatory agency that was set up to be responsible for establishing the national plan for natural gas production and distribution. Ramírez, a mechanical engineer by his university education, has had wide-ranging experience in the design, development, coordination, and management of engineering projects for the Venezuelan petroleum industry.

Hence, Ramírez was responsible for the design, development, and promotion of national policies for natural gas. Next, he was promoted to the status of Minister of Energy and Mines, and he faced the "oil sabotage" of late 2002 and early 2003. The Ministry of Energy and Mines became Ministry of Energy and Oil in January 2005, and became the Ministry for People's Power of Oil and Mining in 2012. On November 20, 2004, Ramírez was selected as the president of the company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), a position that he has held concurrently with that of the Minister of Energy and Petroleum.

Ramírez family members that became high officials under his leadership included his wife Beatrice Sansó de Ramírez, who led PDVSA La Estancia, the oil company's cultural center;[1] her brother Baldo Sansó, who was a special adviser to the oil ministry; his mother-in-law Hildegard Rondón de Sansó, who served as an outside council for PDVSA and wrote books published by the oil company;[2] and his cousin Diego Salazar Carreño, who according to longtime Venezuelan revolutionary Douglas Bravo, led PDVSA's self-insurance unit.[3]

Ramírez was moved to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs on 2 September 2014. After a few months in that post, he was instead appointed as Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 26 December 2014. His appointment as Permanent Representative coincided with Venezuela taking a seat on the United Nations Security Council on 1 January 2015.[4]

Professional career[edit]



  1. ^ Poderopedia-Venezuela. Poderopedia http://www.poderopedia.org/ve/personas/Beatrice_Sanso. Retrieved 3 September 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Hildegard Rondón de Sansó bautizó versión en inglés de "El Régimen de los Hidrocarburos"". PDVSA. PDVSA. Retrieved 3 September 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ Bravo, Douglas. "A quien pueda interesar". ABC de la semana. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Andrew Cawthorne, "Venezuela's Maduro moves foreign minister Ramirez to U.N.", Reuters, 26 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Rafael Ramírez (People's Minister for Energy & Petroleum and PDVSA President)". PDVSA. Retrieved 2013-08-24. <

External links[edit]