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Venezuela’s former planning minister, who helped the late president Hugo Chavez forge the country’s state-driven economic model, has excoriated current president Nicholas Maduro as a weak leader who is straying from socialism, according to a widely circulated document. The comments attributed to Jorge Giordani, which could not be independently verified, echoed many opposition criticisms of the president and suggested Maduro’s efforts to overhaul Chavez-era economic controls may come at a significant political cost. Maduro on Tuesday removed Giordani, a Marxist academic who helped create the price caps and foreign exchange controls, from the planning ministry in a move hailed as a sign of pragmatism.

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