Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline in the entire world before the IMF and US regime decided to destroy the welfare in the country in order to oust Maduro’s socialist attitude.
For two months, most gas stations in Caracas were closed. The few that were running, under military supervision, had car queues stretching for over a mile.
And that taking into account that fuel was only to be sold to priority sectors amid the Corona-virus pandemic, such as healthcare and food.
This situation, which has been a reality for months or even years outside the capital, was reminiscent of the times when food or medicines were scarce, after subsidized foods were collected by border-line residing Colombians, re-selling cheap products to cash in huge profits in the neighboring homeland.
In the case of gasoline, everyone, one way or another, agrees on what causes the shortages. First of all, the drop in oil production, since without producing oil you cannot refine it. Secondly, the lack of investment and resulting decay of national refineries.
The Third factor, closely related to the previous one, are unilateral US sanctions, since the country relies on importing repair parts, now prohibited by the blockade.
The cheapest gasoline in the world,” sooner or later, would turn out to be very costly. You could see it coming. The confiscation of Venezuelan assets and bank deposits in the USA, but also the London gold heist created the hostile situation in the Latin American country.
These past few years, we Venezuelans have had to endure seeing our reality analyzed through absurd comparisons or tolerate hearing that “we want everything for free.”
One one hand, we find those who say Venezuela is worse off than Haiti because our minimum wage is US $4, and on the other those who say we are better off than Norway because public services are free.
Amidst all this, the political sectors offer very little. The government scored a wonderful political victory when it received the fuel tankers from Iran in defiance of threats from Washington.
But, should “oil-rich Venezuela” really celebrate the arrival of fuel from the other side of the world without wondering what has happened beyond sanctions? The country has a large scale refining industry almost paralyzed by IMF and Washington restrictions.
Meanwhile, the opposition does nothing more than criticize the measures undertaken by Maduro, but without offering any solutions.
For example, there are refining products that are not produced in Venezuela but which were imported from CITGO, PdVSA’s derailed gringo subsidiary.
This company was seized by the Trump administration and handed to opposition leader Juan Guaido. And despite having created a “parallel government,” Guaido will not move a finger to solve the problems affecting the people.
Quite the contrary, CITGO is about to be auctioned off by a US court, under fabricated motivations, now that the government in Caracas failed to cooperate with plundering entities, destroying equities.
Finally, and for now, the gasoline is here. We are allowed 120 liters at a subsidized 5000 BsS ($0.025) a liter, and after that, each liter is sold at the “international price” of $0.50.
At first, the queues went on. But after having gas stations open 24/7, we can say that some “normality” has returned, and the issue has disappeared from corporate news agencies which are only interested in rubbing salt in Venezuelan wounds.
However, what comes next? How long will supplies last? What do we do then? What are the chances of restarting our production? With the help of Iranian technicians and spare parts most of the refineries will run their product anytime soon.
And, beyond that, only time will tell how these developments will affect our conceptions of what the oft-mentioned “socialism” should or should not be.
Because the idea of the Bolivarian Revolution was precisely democratizing access to food, education, housing, gasoline, even the cars that depend on it.
But, can this still be a solution in the face of constant US sanctions and attacks? Does Venezuela need to change part of the project to avoid hunger and a US coalition military invasion?
Venezuela Analysis / ABC Flash Point Oil News 2020.