The President of the Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela [Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce] (FEDECAMARAS), Jorge Roig, spoke out against the government plan to increase gasoline prices. Roig said:
[Raising gas prices] will have wide economic repercussions.
According to Roig, the fact that Venezuelan gasoline prices have been so low for so long means that when a price increase does come, the shock it will send throughout Venezuelan society and its economy “will be much greater” than if steady, gradual increases had been made over a period of decades.
Roig also reiterated the point that gasoline in Venezuela is sold for as much as 28 times less than it takes to produce it. This massive gap between production and market costs inevitably leads to the situation the government currently finds itself in, because:
No company can keep on selling their product below what it costs to produce it (…) Right now, PDVSA and the government are experiencing the enormous disadvantages price controls have, be the product gasoline, chicken, sugar or eggs.
He also called out the president of PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, for saying that Citgo was not being sold for any particular reason:
There’s very little transparency. You don’t sell a company unless you need to sell it.
Roig called on the government to clearly and unequivocally tell the people of Venezuela why exactly it wants to sell Citgo.
Mayors Ask for More Resources
The Asociacion de Alcaldes Venezolanos [Association of Venezuelan Mayors] called on the national government to provide it with the assistance it needs to cover increasing government-mandated costs.
According to the group, the government has asked them to provide salary increases of 30% for civil servants and 75% for teachers, but have not received additional funds from the government to cover the increases.
Carlos Ocariz, the mayor of the Sucre municipality in Caracas, said:
Every municipality in the country, be it run by the opposition or the PSUV, are going through a great economic crisis, and just as the rest of the country, have been affected by high inflation and scarcity, due to misguided policies. We cannot pay for the recent salary increases mandated by the national executive because they have not sent us the resources.
Ocariz also pointed out that the San Cristobal and Mario Briceno Iragorry municipalities have not received their PDVSA royalties in eight months, and that Lecherias and Maturin have yet to received police vehicles that were promised to them earlier this year.
Finally, a political cartoon from renowned cartoonist Zapata:
The captions read (from top to bottom):
They say that there’s no death penalty here…
… but we prisoners die of hunger