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Maduro Names Socialist Hardliner to Lead Economy

Venezuela's president doubles down on his economic policy as a confrontation brews between the ruling socialist party and newly-powerful opposition.
Image: Nicolas Maduro
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro delivers his annual state-of-the-nation address beside a framed poster featuring the late President Hugo Chavez, at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Ariana Cubillos / AP

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is doubling down on his existing economic policies as the country heads for a confrontation between the ruling socialist party and newly-powerful opposition.

Maduro on Wednesday appointed a young socialist as economic czar as part of a larger cabinet reshuffle.

New vice president for the economy Luis Salas champions the same theories of price and currency controls that have defined Venezuela's economic policy for 17 years.

Salas says like Maduro that the country is suffering because business interests are colluding with the U.S. to sabotage the economy.

Some observers believed that Maduro would begin making economic reforms after the opposition won its first national election in more than a decade. The country is grappling with triple-digit inflation and world's worst recession.