CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro named on Tuesday former Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada to be the country’s new ambassador to the United Nations after the resignation of Rafael Ramirez.
“I thank the president ... and the foreign minister ... for their confidence. They can count on my full commitment to defend, from this post, the interests of the Homeland, its independence, its sovereignty and the dignity of our People,” wrote Moncada on his Twitter account.
According to a report in the Official Gazette, Moncada, who served as deputy foreign relations minister for North America and held the post of foreign minister before the current occupant of that office, Jorge Arreaza, will replace Ramirez, who reported on Twitter on Tuesday that he resigned on “instructions” from Maduro.
The resignation – which occurred on Monday – was communicated by Ramirez on his Twitter account and confirmed to EFE by officials at Venezuela’s mission to the UN.
In his message, Ramirez includes a letter he sent to Venezuelan Arreaza on Monday in which he announces his resignation and reviews his tenure in the office, which began on Jan. 5, 2015.
In that letter, Ramirez mentions a conversation he held with Arreaza on an unspecified date, saying that he was resigning as UN envoy in compliance with the “instructions” received from Maduro to cease representing Caracas before the international body.
“I have been removed for my opinions,” says the diplomat, who is also the former president of Venezuela’s PDVSA petroleum company, in his Twitter message.
“I will remain, whatever happens, loyal to Commander (Hugo) Chavez,” adds Ramirez in the message, citing Maduro’s predecessor, the late Venezuelan president.
In his letter to Arreaza, Ramirez says that his decision to resign was “very difficult” because it means ending his duties when the country is going through “a situation of political-economic crisis where the international front has acquired extraordinary relevance.”
“Nevertheless, given the president’s decision, I have had no other option,” he adds.
Ramirez has recently criticized the economic management of the Maduro government and had defended his own work at the head of PDVSA, which is the target of a thorough investigation by Caracas authorities for alleged acts of corruption.
In his resignation letter, Ramirez says that all his “observations” had been made “honestly” and “in public, after expressing them insistently in the corresponding political forums.”
“I hoped that they would be well-received, moreso because they are provided in a constructive way, with the sole intention of generating creative, revolutionary discussion with the sole objective of overcoming this situation together,” he adds.