It is another signal of the deep economic slump in which Venezuela has been plunged for several years. While gasoline was almost free in this country which has huge reserves of black gold, it will be sold at much higher prices from Monday.
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"We have decided that two hundred service stations could freely sell this product at an international price," said Socialist President Nicolas Maduro, ending the Venezuelan state's monopoly on the sale of fuels. An international price set at 50 cents a liter for these stations managed by "private entrepreneurs" , said the Chavista leader. This measure became necessary given the collapse of oil production. A phenomenon several years old that has only increased with the coronavirus crisis.
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Faced with a shortage situation, the country, which should experience inflation by 15,000% in 2020, according to IMF projections, is reduced to importing oil. This is how a few days ago Iranian oil tankers arrived to deliver petrol and other petroleum products to the socialist government. This delivery did not fail to rekindle the anger of Washington, which denounced Tehran's support for a regime which it considers illegitimate.
For its part, Caracas attributes the collapse of its production to American economic sanctions. International experts mainly question chronic underinvestment in the oil sector for years and disastrous management.