LATIN-AMERICA

Views from Venezuela – New restrictions

Jose Luis Ramirez, 28, lives in San Felipe, Yaracuy, Venezuela. Every week he tells about his life in Venezuela, in this exclusive Chile Today column. Today no. 8, about the gas scarcity.

The Venezuelan government has imposed what many people, including myself, consider as another restriction for the Venezuelans welfare. Now, the fuel acquisition will be regulated by the “Carnet de la Patria” (Homeland Card). So, if you don’t have a card associated to the government’s party, you won’t be able to buy gasoline or any other kind of fuel. But a good question is, what is the Carnet de la Patria?

Months ago, the government made people register in a census that would supposedly allow the state to help the population get the access to state-running benefits. Thousands of people reluctantly stood in long lines for hours to register. This was because the government convinced them that every single service would be paid by using the card. Well, that is becoming true step by step.

On last Saturday, Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s president, urged the people to participate in a new energetic policy, in which every single car owner should register their vehicles, linked to their correspondent Carnet de la Patria. Otherwise, the service will cost them a lot more money, a measure that was announced as a policy to reduce the excessive spending of fuel. Besides, the president said the current cost of fuel isn’t enough to cover the production, and makes it easier for trafficking.

“The cost of gasoline without the Carnet de la Patria would be around $US 50, which is the equivalent to $BSF 150 (115 times the Venezuelan minimum living wage) per week”

The former energy minister Héctor Navarro, explained that the cost of gasoline without the Carnet de la Patria would be around $US 50, which is the equivalent to $BSF 150 (115 times the Venezuelan minimum living wage) per week. This shows the deep crisis that Pdvsa, the Venezuelan petroleum company, is going through. A possible fuel shortage in Venezuela might be forcing the government to look for a way-out, so the implementation of the QR (quick response) code for fuel has been announced. The code is on the state’s database, and with it, people can register and get the state to subside.

As a result of the new policy, the public transportation will be even more affected than it is today, as the lines at the gas stations will be very long. The rationalization will cause the waste of a lot of time at the lines – time that can be well used to work. The reason for this logic is the consecutive failures reported about this system. So, it will only boost off of the people’s rage, but for how long will the Venezuelan citizens endure the crisis?

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