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13 May 2022

Barkindo bestowed with Venezuela’s Highest Civilian Honour

Vienna, Austria, 13 May 2022--OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, was received by the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, HE Nicolas Maduro Moros, at the Miraflores Palace, Caracas. They held a working meeting to discuss ongoing developments in the oil market.

President Maduro presented the Secretary General with the highest civilian honour in Venezuela, the Order of General Francisco de Miranda, first class. The award recognized the Secretary General’s outstanding stewardship of OPEC for the last six years. The ceremony was televised live by the Venezuelan national broadcaster and attended by high level Venezuelan dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corp.

The Order of Francisco de Miranda is conferred by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in memory of Francisco de Miranda, Venezuela and Latin American independence hero, who is considered one of the most influential Venezuelans in modern history. This national honor recognizes Venezuelan citizens and foreigners who have made an indelible contribution to the progress of the country, exemplifying outstanding merits.

President Maduro praised the Secretary General as an ‘exceptional leader,’ who had been instrumental in navigating the oil industry through two oil price cycles: the 2014-16 downturn caused by supply outpacing demand and the 2020 contraction of demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Maduro commended the Secretary General’s lifetime commitment to combatting energy poverty, a scourge of our age. He praised the Secretary General’s advocacy that nobody on the planet should be left behind in the energy transition.

President Maduro said that the Secretary General will bequeath a remarkable legacy of accomplishment to future generations. He underscored Venezuela’s commitment to defend and continue to support OPEC. He congratulated the Secretary General for a ‘mission accomplished.’

The Secretary General commended the extraordinary leadership that President Maduro played in the formation of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ in 2016. The President engaged with a broad range of world leaders to rally support for the unique cooperation with 10 non-OPEC oil producing countries.

The Secretary General praised Venezuela for a monumental recovery in its economy and oil industry despite extreme circumstances.  This is testimony to the dedication and professionalism of Venezuela’s leadership and workers.

The Secretary General stressed that Venezuela is the ‘land of heroes.’ He outlined how OPEC continues to be inspired by the legacy of the great liberator, Simon Bolivar, Commander Hugo Chavez and President Maduro.

The Secretary General thanked President Maduro for his unwavering support for the last six years. He wished continued success and prosperity to the great and heroic Venezuelan people, who remain a source of inspiration for the rest of the world in their capacity to overcome any adversity.