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May 20 2019

Long Waits for Gasoline in Oil-Rich Venezuela

Milton Friedman famously said that if Big Government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there would be a shortage of sand. To get an idea of how right he was, consider that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, but is under socialist control. In its second-largest city Maracaibo, gasoline is exceeding difficult to obtain:

Some drivers said they’d had to wait almost 24 hours to fuel up, and people have been grabbing catnaps on the hoods of cars or in truck beds. …

A satellite cruising over Maracaibo on Thursday captured pictures of cars lined up for a mile (1.6 kilometers) through the city to the pumps…

US sanctions intended to drive the socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro from power are blamed for the shortage. Meanwhile, “state run oil-firm PDVSA is producing 10 to 15% of its capacity.”

On the bright side, if you do manage to obtain any gas in Venezuela, it is so heavily subsidized by the government that it is virtually free.

On a tip from 1-Bodhisattva.



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