Chavez appoints new head of state oil company

VENEZUELA - President Hugo Chavez on Saturday appointed a leftist central banker as head of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), a move that observers said sets the stage for foreign exchange controls and which will financially damage Latin America's largest company.

Gaston Parra had been a lecturer on petroleum economics at the provincial University of Zulia, before being appointed as first vice-president of the central bank a year ago.

Venezuela's central bank last week dramatica

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