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Expand chart
Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Brazil's markets tumbled on Monday, with state oil company Petrobras losing 19% of its value, after president Jair Bolsonaro announced he was firing the company's Chicago-educated CEO and replacing him with a former general.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro pledged to "put a finger on electricity" — to keep prices at artificially low levels, worrying investors who had previously been counting on him to have more of a laissez-faire approach to industry.

Flashback: The headlines coming out of Brazil are reminiscent of the way in which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dismantled his country's oil-production infrastructure after he came to power in 1999, starting with the forced resignation of Luis Giusti, the head of the state-owned oil company.

By the numbers: Venezuelan oil production has reached formerly unthinkable lows, given that the country sits on the largest oil reserves in the world.

  • Venezuela's 300 billion barrels of reserves now produce less than half a million barrels a day of oil.
  • Brazil's reserves are tiny in comparison — less than 13 billion barrels — but the company is producing far more oil, about 3 million barrels per day.

Between the lines: Technocrats tend not to fare well under populist presidents, be they of the right-wing or left-wing variety. Venezuela's PDVSA was an extremely well-run company before 1999, and Petrobras has been reasonably well-run until now.

  • But when an ex-military president takes over and puts generals in charge, loyalty to the regime tends to be rewarded more than professional competence.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

In photos: Protests in U.S., across the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A protest march in support of Palestinians near the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

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