Gasoline Shortages Affecting Venezuela (US Sanctions + Propaganda Campaign)

#SinGasolina was once again the subject of a national trend on Twitter. In both the eastern and western regions of the country the shortage of gasoline that has characterized the end of December 2019 continues. In Zulia, Táchira, Barinas, Carabobo, Aragua, Anzoátegui and Monagas, queues of cars of up to two and three days are made near the service stations waiting for the fuel supply.
Luis Machado reported that in Maturín drivers “sometimes take up to two days to get gas. In the capital of the Monagas state, all the city’s gas stations supply only half of the cars they could supply. Instead of serving 800, stations can only serve 400 vehicles, since they do not have enough fuel.
The arrival of the cisterns is not constant either. Although WhatsApp groups have proliferated to share information among neighbors, whenever there is gas, in half of the cases users go to the stations without knowing if they will be taken care of.

Andrea Torrealba waited in her car for eight hours to get gas in the only station in the area that served Barinas. Since then she hasn’t moved much to save her tank. However, Torrealba expects to go home soon in Valencia, since in Carabobo state “the situation is better”.

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Anzoátegui is not the exception either. A user from Puerto La Cruz reported that contacts with police officers allowed him to get to the head of the kilometer line. According to social networks, in El Tigre the drivers blocked the streets as a protest against the lack of service.

Through Twitter cases were also reported in Mérida, Zulia, Cojedes, Bolívar, Lara, Nueva Esparta and Miranda.

Fuel shortage facilitates smuggling
Isabel Garrido said that, in Villa de Cura state Aragua, six service stations, only one works. This is the Huas Huas station, at the exit of Cagua. The inhabitants of that area must queue three hours to be able to gas up. In the other stations of the city, close to the exit to San Juan de Los Morros, Garrido denounced the smuggling of gasoline.

“The only time they were stocked in one of those gas stations, they had people waiting since dawn and at 10 in the morning, they said that the gasoline had run out to sell it for a higher price in drums.”

According to Garrido, a 20-liter container can be sold for 50 thousand bolivars at a price “among friends” or up to $ 20 to other interested parties.

In Venezuela, the price of gasoline is lower than the lowest denomination of the Venezuelan monetary cone, which is why for many Venezuelans it is practically “free”.

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The case of Táchira
Since 2013 in Táchira the supply of gasoline is regulated. If it was the state to which the largest amount of diesel oil was assigned, with the entry of Chavista Governor José Gregorio Vielma Mora, it began to be limited to a monthly allowance of six tankfuls a month. The purpose of this regulation was to control the amount of gasoline allocated to cars to avoid smuggling Venezuelan gasoline to the border with Colombia.

However, although at the beginning each servicing filled the vehicle’s tank, today they only load 40 liters of gasoline regardless of the size of the car.

According to Saúl Acevedo, communicator from San Cristóbal, the cars queue for three days or pay up to 20 thousand Colombian pesos for being advanced in the queue, which is equivalent to 6 dollars.

Propaganda campaign

While the most coherent reason for this situation are the US Sanctions forbidding Venezuela to purchase the inputs to produce gasoline, Venezuelan media and influencers in social media spread false trends putting the blame on the “regime’s corruption” and “giving away gasoline to Cuba”.

The right wing newspaper “El Nacional” interviewed Iván Freites, general secretary of the Oil Workers Union. “We are importing between 100,000 and 150,000 barrels of gasoline a day through bartering . We exchange gasoline for crude oil at prices well below those of the international market,” Freites accused without referring to the causes for this kind of transactions (US sanctions).
“But, these imports do not go to the domestic market but to the Cuban one, as part of the Cuba-Venezuela agreement of Chavismo, he said. Another part is also smuggling, which further aggravates the fuel crisis,” the right wing activist added.

“I had a meeting yesterday with a US activist arriving in Venezuela after spending 2 weeks in Cuba and one of the things she told me impressed her the most, in this last visit of hers to Cuba, was the lack of gasoline and car traffic in general in the streets of Havana as a consequence of US sanctions that world media have publicized, where Venezuelan gasoline doesn’tnot reach Cuba because of special US sanctions on shipping companies,” said OT’s editor, Jesus Rodriguez-Espinoza.

Source URL: Efecto Cocuyo (right wing Venezuelan outlet) with OT content

Translated and edited by JRE/EF



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