While Nicolas Maduro’s regime admits that it needs money to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, it sends fuel to Cuba at no cost. Meanwhile, there is an unprecedented shortage of gasoline in Venezuela.
The ship Carlota C, which is anchored in Venezuela with a Cuban flag, will carry fuel to Cuba. However, in the South American country, people are still waiting in long queues of cars to fill their tanks.
“This boat, the Carlota C anchored at El Palito, is coming to refuel Cuba. This boat has been operating for several years from Cuba to Paraguaná looting our gasoline. Now it is closer, it is the turn of the Palito,” said Congressman Luis Stefanelli on Twitter.
According to MarineTraffic, the ship is in Venezuela after a four-day, three-hour journey from the port of Moa, Cuba.
It is not surprising that the ship Carlota C is transporting gasoline that was paid for by Venezuela. Earlier in March, when the world was already amid the coronavirus quarantine, and there was no fuel at the service stations in Venezuela, Maduro sent loaded tankers to Cuba.
According to journalist Casto Ocando, the PDVSA report indicates that “the shipments of fuel given by Maduro to Cuba amidst the Venezuelan mega-crisis, arrived at the following ports: Cienfuegos, Havana, and Santiago de Cuba.”
Cuba is one of the main allies of Venezuela. The island used to receive about 100,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela every day through various cooperation agreements. Cuba, in turn, sent doctors, military, and intelligence officials in exchange for Maduro’s oil.
A fleet of five ships, the first of which has already arrived in Venezuela, is transporting 1.5 million barrels of gasoline from Iran to supposedly alleviate the shortage in the oil-rich country. The gasoline has not yet been distributed in Venezuelan territory, and the Venezuelan people have not accessed it, but it will also end up in Cuba.
The 200 million liters of gasoline, brought by the Iranian freighters, was paid for in advance with nine tons of gold equivalent to 500 million dollars in the market. This gold was plundered from the vaults of the Central Bank of Venezuela.
Maduro announced the hike in fuel prices, claiming that Venezuela had paid for the gasoline in dollars to Iran and that Venezuelans should pay for it. However, he does not demand that Cuba pay for regular shipments to the island. Meanwhile, Maduro rations how many liters of gasoline Venezuelans can buy.
Venezuelans will need ten months’ salaries refuel their cars
Just to fill a tank of gasoline, Venezuelans will need up to ten minimum monthly wages. This is due to the new increase in prices announced by the Nicolás Maduro dictatorship, which will also have to be paid in dollars, or, at the official exchange rate.
On Saturday, May 30th, Maduro announced a variation in gasoline prices for the first time after more than 30 years with subsidized prices. Fuel went from being the cheapest in the world to the most expensive relative to the wages of Venezuelans, who now have to choose between buying food to eat or filling up their tanks.
Consumers will have to pay at least 20 USD for a 40-liter tank and 30 USD for a 60-liter tank at any of the 200 service stations in the country. Currently, the minimum wage in Venezuela is 800,000 bolivars, which is equivalent to approximately four American dollars.
If you fill a 40-liter tank of an average vehicle, it will cost you 3,962,211 bolivars. You will need ten months of the minimum wage to fill this tank with gasoline.
“It is necessary to have a revaluation of this important product,” said Maduro about gasoline. “The time has come to move toward a new (pricing) policy,” he said.