- Title: Drivers wait six days to buy fuel in Venezuela border region
- Date: 15th October 2019
- Summary: MARACAIBO, VENEZUELA (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE QUEUING FOR FUEL BOY DRINKING WATER IN QUEUE PEOPLE QUEUING FOR FUEL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DRIVER, JOSE SULBARAN, SAYING: "You have to sleep close to the pumps (petrol stations). And most of the time when you fill up the tank it's with a chip. Mine is for 53 litres but they will only give me 30 (litres). So you sleep close to the pump to get 30 litres.'' VARIOUS OF SOMEONE SLEEPING IN CAR UNDER BLANKET PEOPLE QUEUING FOR FUEL SAN CRISTOBAL, VENEZUELA (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR PETROL STATION VARIOUS OF CARS IN QUEUE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SLEEPING IN STREET AS THEY QUEUE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DRIVER, GERSON GIL, SAYING: "We do not wait here often. The problem is that we can only fill up with 30 litres once a week. With some luck it can be two days. There have been times where twelve days have passed and we have filled up with 30 litres and with that, no one can survive, nobody can work with that.'' VARIOUS MOTORCYCLISTS QUEUING TO FILL UP TANKS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MOTORCYCLIST, GABRIEL PATINO, SAYING: "Right now, we've been here since 5 o'clock in the morning and we no one has been able to fill up their tanks, not even 20 motorcycles. It's not fair and they should sort this out.'' VARIOUS MOTORCYCLISTS QUEUING FOR PETROL
- Embargoed: 29th October 2019 20:58
- Keywords: Venezuela fuel divers border region
- Location: MARACAIBO & SAN CRISTOBAL, VENEZUELA
- City: MARACAIBO & SAN CRISTOBAL, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B17LKXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Venezuelans in border areas are waiting up to six days to fill their cars and some report paying bribes to jump ahead in lines, signalling a return of crippling fuel shortages that have dogged the struggling OPEC nation for much of the year.
Despite having the world's largest oil reserves, Venezuela's hyperinflationary economy is suffering widespread fuel shortages resulting from slumping oil output and chronic refinery problems that have worsened since U.S. issued a broad set of sanctions.
Venezuela in 2019 has suffered intermittent fuel shortages, which tend to be worse in border areas. Heavy subsidies, which make gasoline almost free, creates an opportunity for lucrative smuggling to nearby nations where fuel is much more expensive.
It is not immediately evident why the shortages have become more acute in recent days. Neither the information ministry nor state-owned oil company PDVSA immediately responded to requests for comment.
The government of President Nicolas Maduro has blamed U.S. sanctions for weakening the country's economy and crippling its oil industry. His adversaries say dysfunctional economic policies and rampant corruption are to blame for the problems.
Between January and August, Venezuela's crude production fell 60%, according to unofficial PDVSA figures seen by Reuters.
Gasoline is so cheap that drivers rarely bother to pay for it. Any payment typically comes in the form of a tip to the service station employee.
(Production: Efrain Otero, Geraldine Downer)
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