There aren't many places in the world where one can buy a gallon of gas for the equivalent of a nickel, but, for the time being, Venezuela is one of those places. There the price of gasoline has been frozen for nearly two decades, but the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, says he favors raising prices gradually over three years to help fight the country's economic crisis, The Detroit News reports.

Venezuelans tend to drive cars that aren't fuel efficient because of the low price of gas, and consumption of the fuel reportedly is 40-times higher than in any other Latin American nation. Lucas Davis, a University of California - Berkeley energy specialist, gives some context: "Prices are so cheap in Venezuela that they may make Saudi Arabia and Iran look expensive."

A native Venezuelan who drives a 1975 Ford LTD station wagon says, in Venezuela, "You spend more on liquor than you do on gas."

The government's plan to raise gasoline prices is being sold on Maduro's promise to reinvest some of the money into building schools and homes, but the effects of raising prices should have other positive effects in the country, such as lowering pollution (assuming Venezuelans are willing to buy more fuel-efficient cars) and reducing black-market oil trading and road congestion.


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  • 36 Comments
      Leviathan18
      • 1 Year Ago
      a nickel are you crazy? First let me state that I'm Venezuela born and rised over there. Not longer living in Venezuela right now as I moved to greener pasture. First the price of 1 liter of 95 octanes RON is 0.90 BSF by official price of the dollar (which is 6.3 bsf fixed) that means one liter of gas costs in USD 0.14 cents so 1 US Gallon is 0.37cents cheap by any means. Now you have more chances to find the winning ticket of the mega million than buying USD $ at that price, the black market price of the USD is 65 bsf so 1 liter of gas is 0.01 USD and one gallon is 0.03 cents. So a tank of 15 gallons which is the tank of my 3 series is about 45 cents. Now one liter of water costs around 1.5bsf that is 15 times more that one liter of gas, a can of coke costs 8bsf... Running costs of transport doesn't take into consideration the price of gas, even if they double the price or triple it you could go up to 15 times if you want and still is cheap. Now as many have said imports of vehicles stopped in 2008 in Venezuela and the only thing we get is the manufactured in Venezuela by Ford GM Mitsubishi and Toyota and imports from China. We get cheap gas, but we pay dearly for cars, tires, oil, insurance, oem parts... Is really sad what is brewing in my country, we have the resources and the knowledge to be an important nation in the region with a strong economy and development, but instead we have a moron as a president and half country of retards that after 15 years of this goverment they still believe.
        Mudotaku
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Leviathan18
        Amen mi pana.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Leviathan18
        In one sentence you state that imported cars are not available and that imported cars is one of the options you can get.
      Ira
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love this author's reference about buying more fuel efficient cars. You can't buy ANY cars in Venezuela because of their terrible economic policies. The place is a shithole and cheap gasoline and record high oil prices haven't helped them--so how is raising domestic gas prices a few bolivares going to make a difference?
      Ira
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article also doesn't mention that VZ has horrible refining capabilities--so even though their oil is "free," they actually buy back their own from the U.S., who refines it! This is why Hugo's past rants about an oil embargo against the U.S. were so ridiculous and meaningless; Not only would VZ collapse in a few months without the dollars from oil sales to the U.S., but that would reciprocate an embargo of refined gas from the U.S. to VZ. It takes a certain kind of stupidity to become a Chavista, and I should know: My wife is Venezuelan and hates Chavismo, but half of her family are dumb sheep who believe in their nonsense.
      Christian Freites
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm venezuelan, still living here and i'm completely sure that none of the money is going for new schools, etc. Gas is subsidized and need a real price, but the economy is broken and the motor industry is fading. Thats why people are driving old cars, the prices for a new car (if you can get one) are ridiculously high.
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Christian Freites
        Dude, Venezuela (and Cuba) are all the Hollywood liberals wet dream! Kevin Spacey, Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone.... Sean Penn said: "I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chávez and the people of Venezuela." Penn added: "Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of vice president [Nicolas] Maduro." And Oliver Stone and Michael Moore: Oliver Stone, who celebrated Chávez's presidency and the successes of left wing politicians across South America in his 2009 documentary South of the Border, said the Venezuelan leader would be remembered fondly by historians as a champion of the poor. "I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place," he said in a statement. "Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chávez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned." Michael Moore, who met Chávez at the Venice film festival in 2009 and posted pictures of himself with the president, tweeted: "Hugo Chávez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all. That made him dangerous. US approved of a coup to overthrow him even though he was a democratically-elected president." So no....these people wouldn't be wrong. Rejoice in your socialist revolution. Everything is great. Hollywood would not steer you wrong....
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, they've been subsidizing their oil for way too long; this discourages conservation and ends up with situations where people are driving cars from the 1970's 40 years later.. creating all kinds of pollution and wasting a finite resource. And somehow, despite sitting on a mini saudi-arabia's worth of oil, their government has very close to the same amount of debt that we have here in the USA. Venezuela is a basket case...
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      In Venezuela Gasoline is cheaper than water. But the problem is not the economy but the fact that Venezuela doesn't own its gasoline reserves. Chavez and Maduro sold them to China and already spent all that prepaid money long time ago. Venezuela is a mess.
      razorpit
      • 1 Year Ago
      No tears from me. Using the justification the liberals use here, if the Europeans are paying X for a "liter" of gas then so should Venezuela. Heck lets make a world standard of $100/liter, that will fix everything! [/sarcasm]
      Jim Pease
      • 1 Year Ago
      " the effects of raising prices should have other positive effects in the country, such as lowering pollution (assuming Venezuelans are willing to buy more fuel-efficient cars) and reducing black-market oil trading and road congestion." I'm more inclined to believe it will lead to general civil unrest.
      b.rn
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 1975 Ford LTD was a great car.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @b.rn
        It was a great BIG car.
          Sir Duke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          Are you saying it wasn't? My first car was a '77 T-bird, and that was a great BIG car. It had a 302cid motor that developed 105 hp, and drank more than a sailor on a weekend pass. BTW: I am a retired sailor, I should know.
        kajohns1964
        • 1 Year Ago
        @b.rn
        I had a 75 sedan. Great car.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Jesse Gurr
        • 1 Year Ago
        You forgot to add "pulling a tanker full of gas" cuz thats about how much it will take to travel 3,000 miles, give or take.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          [blocked]
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gas may be cheap there,but the people are quite poor. So increase in price will likely affect them quite a bit.
      AboZala
      • 1 Year Ago
      Damn that is very cheap , and I thought saudi arabia was the cheapest . In saudi arabia a gallon of regular gasoline costs 45 cents . So we are actually 4 times more expensive than Venezuela . But there is everything else so guess saudi arabia is still a beautiful place to live in .
        kajohns1964
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AboZala
        Except for government regulations and taxes there is no good reason for gasoline in the US to be more than 45 cents a gallon.
          Sean Conrad
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kajohns1964
          Not sure if trolling or just unable to do basic math.
          thedriveatfive
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kajohns1964
          In most states federal + state + local gas tax does not exceed 50 cents a gallon
          d
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kajohns1964
          No you can thank Wall Street for that and allowing US mega oil companies to export more refined petroleum products than the US consumes. Now they want to change regulations again to export domestically produced oil, so the US can become a net oil exporter and keep us with $4 gasoline. If a Goldman Sachs oil speculator was hung from a lightpost with a sign, "No more futures speculation", oil would fall below $40 a barrel in hours.
          nitrostreet
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kajohns1964
          Yeah, I wondered, no gas tax would also mean no road maintenance at all.....
        NissanGTR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AboZala
        Like road maintenance is actually being done.
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