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Nicolas Maduro's Cabinet Shuffled, Chavez Allies Put In Key Positions

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NICOLAS MADURO SHUFFLES CABINET VENEZUELA
Then-Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference after the UNASUR meeting in Quito, on July 29, 2010. (PABLO COZZAGLIO/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Newly elected Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has shuffled his Cabinet, putting allies of late president Hugo Chavez in positions to tackle pressing problems including widespread power outages and double-digit inflation.

Maduro tapped Jesse Chacon to take charge of government initiatives aimed at upgrading Venezuela's power grid, which has been plagued with problems stemming from lack of investment and maintenance.

Many Venezuelans are fed up with blackouts that have been occurring for years around the South American country.

Maduro also announced late Sunday that Nelson Merentes, who had served as president of the central bank, would take the helm at the finance ministry.

Merentes will face the daunting task of reducing inflation, which reached topped 20 percent last year.

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