Alí Rodríguez Araque

Alí Rodríguez Araque
Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations
In office
11 June 2012  31 July 2014
Preceded by María Emma Mejía Vélez
Succeeded by Ernesto Samper
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela
In office
November 2004  August 2006
President Hugo Chavez
Preceded by Jesús Pérez
Succeeded by Nicolás Maduro
Minister of Finance
In office
June 2008  January 2010
President Hugo Chavez
Personal details
Profession politician, diplomat, lawyer
Alí Rodríguez (in the center) with the presidents of Venezuela Hugo Chávez (left) and Peru Alejandro Toledo (right)

Alí Rodríguez Araque (born in Ejido, Mérida, 9 September 1937[1]) is a Venezuelan politician, lawyer, and diplomat.[2]


He is the leader of the party Patria Para Todos ("Motherland For All") and has occupied various positions in the government of President Hugo Chávez, such as oil advisor, General Secretary of OPEC, President of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Minister of External Relations and Ambassador to Cuba. He was appointed as Minister of Finance in June 2008. He is currently Minister of Electric Energy.


He received his legal certification from Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas in 1961. He studied economics, specialising in crude oil; he has written several works about the energy sector.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, he was active in the Marxist guerrilla movement operating in Venezuela. He was known as "Commander Fausto", allegedly acting as an explosives expert. He was one of the last guerrilla fighters to put down arms, after the so-called "appeasement" policy (Pacificación) signaled the end of the armed insurgency. He was pardoned and became involved in parliamentary politics, and was elected to the then National Congress. He acquired a reputation as a negotiator and consensus seeker. He was minister of energy of Venezuela from 1999, when Chávez took office, until 2000.

In 2000 he was elected secretary-general of OPEC and served from January 2001 to July 2002. He then became president of Venezuela's state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), where he masterminded the firing of more than 20,000 workers in response to their part in the company's leading role in the Venezuelan general strike of 2002-2003. He remained in that position until November 2004 when Chávez appointed him foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle. On 1 September 2006, Rodríguez was appointed as Ambassador of Venezuela to Cuba.[3] Later he served some time as Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela for the Andean region in Venezuela[4] before being appointed as Minister of Finance by Chávez on 15 June 2008.[5]


  2. "Alí Rodríguez Araque: El diplomático y revolucionario de las montañas" (in Spanish). PSUV. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  3. Ex canciller Rodríguez será nuevo embajador venezolano en Cuba
  4. Últimas Noticias, Monday, 16 June 2008, p. 12
  5. Reporte diario de la economía, Monday, 16 June 2008, p. 19

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Preceded by
Rilwanu Lukman
Secretary General of OPEC
January 2001 – July 2002
Succeeded by
Álvaro Silva Calderón
Preceded by
Jesús Pérez
Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs
November 2004 – August 2006
Succeeded by
Nicolás Maduro
Preceded by
Venezuelan Minister of Finance
June 2008 – January 2010
Succeeded by
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