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Venezuela Arrests Former Oil Minister And Ex-Head Of PDVSA

As OPEC is set to celebrate the extension of the cartel's oil production cut for another year in Vienna, Venezuela former-oil minister and the former head of the now defaulted state energy company PDVSA have no reasons to celebrate following their overnight arrests in Venezuela.

Taking a page out of the Saudi "anti-corruption" playbook, Reuters reports citing two sources that Venezuelan authorities detained former Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino and former state oil company PDVSA president Nelson Martinez overnight as a part of a broad anti-corruption probe.

Del Pino, a prolific user of Twitter, last tweeted on November 27, seemingly in good spirits.

Hoy la Clase soberana Petrolera recibe al compañero

quién asume el y para continuar el legado de nuestro Comandante Chávez pic.twitter.com/6BH7IsgehW

— Eulogio Del Pino (@delpinoeulogio)

It was not immediately clear why the two men were detained. One Reuters source said it appeared they had been held for questioning.

As reported previously, the Maduro regime has been cracking down on PDVSA personnel, scapegoating the company for the nation's energy woes, and replacing company professionals with members of the military in what appears to be a slow-motion military coup which preserves army control of Venezuela's biggest asset.

State prosecutor Tarek Saab was due to hold a press conference to announce new arrests later on Thursday.