Thousands of semis line up for fuel in oil-rich Venezuela that has run out of fuel

Vegetables are rotting on farms, doctors can’t get to work and people are waiting in gas lines miles long

VENEZUELA – State-owned refineries in socialist Venezuela are mostly shut down causing an oil shortage and forcing thousands of semis to line up waiting for fuel.

Venezuela sits on massive oil reserves but the refineries have experienced maintenance and disinvestment issues for a long time and there is a lack of qualified personnel.

State-owned refineries in socialist Venezuela are mostly shut down causing an oil shortage and thousands of semis lined up waiting for fuel. Click To Tweet

In addition, last year Venezuela’s ties with refineries in Aruba and Curaçao ended. This contributed to the decline in production of medium and light crudes in Venezuela. There’s also a lack of gasoline additives that need to be imported. There are U.S. restrictions imposed against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) since 2017.

The price of fuel has been lower than its production costs and lower than its importation costs. All of this during an economic recession where local gas consumption is dropping. The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine hit during the fuel shortage leaving the country with little to no fuel supply.

Venezuela- with massive oil reserves – helped found OPEC and refineries built in the 1940s that were the envy of first world countries and is now having to import fuel.

Hit by one of the world’s worst economic crises long before anyone heard of COVID-19, the socialist nation is used to deprivation, reported the Washington Post. Venezuelans have struggled for years against shortages of everything from food to toilet paper to drinkable water.

Analysts are calling the severity of the current gas shortage unprecedented — so bad that vegetables are rotting on farms, doctors can’t get to work and even the people of Caracas, are waiting in gas lines miles long, said the Washington Post.

Vegetables are rotting on farms, doctors can’t get to work and even the people of Caracas are waiting in gas lines miles long. Click To Tweet

Meanwhile, millions of people are going hungry in Venezuela since nothing can get shipped to market.

An Iranian fuel shipment is headed to Venezuela and an Iranian news agency said there would be repercussions if the U.S. acted “just like pirates” against the Iranian fuel shipment to Venezuela. The U.S. imposed sanctions against the oil sectors of Iran and Venezuela.

A senior official in President Donald Trump’s administration told Reuters last week that the U.S. was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela. The Trump administration official didn’t specify the measures being considered.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro blames the problems facing the socialist country on the U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. uses sanctions as a policy tool to fight terrorism-related activity as well as narcotics and human trafficking, corruption and human rights violations. The U.S. has been opposed to Venezuela’s narcotics trafficking since 2005 and the country’s lack of cooperation in fighting terrorism.

-sarah.murphy@albertapressleader.ca

Sarah Murphy/Alberta Press Leader

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