Venezuela experienced a second day of widespread gasoline shortage, which affected pumps in every corner of the country.
National Assembly deputy Jose Guerra blamed the shortage on the fact that, according to him, Venezuela’s oil refineries are working at approximately 9% capacity.
Guerra, an economist, shared the following figures on Twitter:
[#VenezuelaWithoutGasThanksToMaduro] Venezuela’s refining capacity. Paraguana Refinery 900,000 barrels per day. El Palito Refinery 150,000 barrels per day. Puerto La Cruz Refinery 100,000 barrels per day. But they only refine 100,000 barrels per day. That’s the cause of the scarcity.
Jose Toro Hardy, an expert in the oil industry, also said May 15 that Venezuela was refining oil at about 10% capacity.
On May 14, Ivan Freites–the head of the Federacion Unitaria de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras del Petroleo en Venezuela (Federation of Oil Workers of Venezuela, FUTPV), painted a similary bleak picture of the country’s refining capacity, and appeared to at least partially blame United States sanctions on Venezuelan oil for the situation:
There’s no production. There’s no refining. They were refining 180,000 barrels per day, but they had to bring that down to 120,000 because the warehouse are full. They’re not sending out to other parts [of the world] because of the sanctions. What’s more, the [oil] tankers are full fuel oil; in other words, residuals. There’s no way for us to get gasoline.
Reuters reported this afternoon that PDVSA, the state-owned oil company, is reducing the number of gasoline shipments to certain parts of the country in order to prioritize the capital of Caracas.
Guaido Speaks in Guarenas
Juan Guaido gave a speech to supporters in Guarenas, Miranda state this afternoon.
During the speech, Guaido asked his supporters how it could be possible for a country as oil-rich as Venezuela to be suffering from severe gasoline shortages. On the dire situation affecting the country, Guaido said:
What are the armed forces waiting for? For them [the government] to break everything?
Guaido also said that Venezuela was in such disarray that the country is already being spoken about in some circles as if it were at war. He said:
They see us as if we were Libya or Syria, thanks to the disaster that they [the government] created.
Just yesterday, the New York Times published an article titled “Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say”. According to experts cited in the article, the socio-economic collapse in Venezuela is the worst to affect a country outside of war in 45 years.
Guaido also pointed out that the crisis in the country is evidence that the so-called “economic war”–a global conspiracy that the regime blames for virtually every ill affecting the country–has been lose. He said:
They’re so inefficient, so ignorant, that they invited a war and lost it.
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