No more cheap fuel…for some

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has the announced the end of Venezuela’s notoriously inexpensive subsidized gasoline for opponents. According to a report in the Panam Post, the Venezuelan President said on August 14 that he will maintain the subsidy for gasoline, the cheapest in the world, only to those who hold a document called a “carnet de la patria”: basically it identifies Venezuela’s as supporters of the ruling socialist regime, and amounts to nothing more than a mechanism of social and political control.

He said that those who are interested in continuing to receive subsidized gasoline should register their vehicle in a census that will last until next Friday, in which they also must provide the aforementioned card.

The Panam Post said gasoline in the oil state is practically given away: with a dollar purchased on the black market you can buy almost five million litres of gasoline (or 1.3 million gallons). However, if the government were to sell gasoline at current international prices it would be beyond the economic reach of all but the wealthiest Venezuelans.

Currently, a Venezuelan can get a litre of gasoline for a Bolivar. According to Deputy José Guerra, the new price at which gasoline will be quoted without subsidy will be USD $1.10 per litre, a sum that would be out of the question for virtually all Venezuelans, who earn abysmally low salaries, the Panam Post said.