Gas shortage has Venezuelan motorists waiting hours in hopes of fuel
Mary Triny Mena
Venezuelans are waking up before dawn to queue for gas as oil shortages continue to beset the country.
“The lines are all extremely long. If I decide to wait in another line, I have to give up all the errands that I planned to do and that’s not what I had in mind today," said Lawyer Dhaniel Mata of Caracas.
To deal with the crisis, the Venezuelan government has started a new rationing plan, selling subsidized gasoline according to the last digit of people’s license plates. Everyone is assigned one weekday and one weekend day.
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, but mismanagement and corruption, along with U.S. sanctions, have led to a collapse of its oil industry.
A convoy of three Iranian tankers has arrived in Venezuela bringing more than 800,000 barrels of fuel which is expected to ease the shortage temporarily.
Contractor Leonardo Hernández even spent the night waiting for a gas station to open.
“Here in Caracas we are lucky that we only wait for 20 hours or so, but I have a son living outside Caracas, and he waited for 12 days and he still couldn’t get any gasoline," Hernández said.