EconomyLatin America

‘This is War’: Maduro Vows to Raise Fuel Prices

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that fuel prices will go up in the country as of 1 June, with gasoline due to be sold at 5,000 bolivars (2.5 US cents) per liter at gas stations nationwide.

These will include 200 stations that will sell premium fuel at the equivalent of 50 US cents a litre, and gasoline will be limited to 120 liters (30 gallons) per month for each vehicle, according to Maduro.

“This is a war, my dear fellow countrymen who listen to me, a brutal war”, the Venezuelan president said in an address to the nation on Saturday, adding that the US is “persecuting any company that brings a drop of gasoline to Venezuela”.

He also said that Venezuela should charge international prices for gasoline “sooner rather than later, to prevent it from being stolen from Colombia and the Caribbean”.

“That should not be decreed or done haphazardly. It should be done through planning and strategy”, Maduro pointed out.

Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami, for his part, pledged that diesel fuel, which is vital to industries and electric power plants, will still be subsidized “100%”.

The remarks followed Maduro’s announcement on Thursday that he had appointed a team of specialists from the government to implement a plan of gas distribution in the country and review the price for imported fuel on the domestic market, which has been one of the lowest in the world due to government subsidies.

“We buy gasoline abroad, from Iran and other countries, for dollars. Many people suggest, and I agree that gasoline will have to be charged. I will send a special team of consultants and specialists to assess the cost of gasoline. It will be laid down in the normalization plan and regulation, and I ask for support and understanding from Venezuela”, Maduro said in an address broadcast by the channel VTV.

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