Venezuela raises fuel prices after arrival of Iranian oil tankers

Andrew Cummings
June 2, 2020

Defying U.S. threats, Iran has sent a flotilla of five tankers of fuel to the South American oil-producing nation, which is suffering from a gasoline shortage.

According to Refinitiv Eikon on Sunday, two Iranian tankers that delivered fuel to Venezuela as part of the flotilla began to sail back, as the government in Caracas prepares petrol stations to raise the prices for the gasoline.

The model will put an end to over two decades of Venezuelans filling up their tanks for next to nothing.

In a separate development last week, Maduro condemned USA attempts to prevent Caracas from having trade relations with Iran, arguing that this is an inalienable right of the two states.

Venezuela is now importing oil from Iran, which has warned the United States against launching attacks on the country's oil tankers as they pass through the Caribbean Sea on their way to Venezuela. Under the changes, which will come into force on June 1, drivers will be allowed up to 120 liters of gasoline a month and up to 60 liters for motorbikes at a subsidized price of 5,000 bolivars (US$0.025) per liter. Details of the new model, including some final prices, have not yet been revealed. "We have decided that 200 service stations will be allowed to sell this product at an worldwide price", president Nicholas Maduro said Saturday, announcing an end to the state monopoly on fuel.

"I am obliged to go to personally thank the people", Mr Maduro said in a state television address, without providing a date for the visit.

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