Venezuela: Netizens Comment on Possible Gasoline Use Restrictions

On February 15, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced possible measures to start rationing gasoline [es]. This matter constitutes a very sensitive issue for Venezuelans, since Venezuela is a country with one of the world's lowest gasoline prices, where according to the government, about 90% of its total cost is subsidized. After the announcement, bloggers and Twitter users reacted in different ways.

Gas station in Caracas, Venezuela. Image by flickr user Eunheui, under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Daniel, a Venezuelan blogger, writes an open letter to Rafael Ramirez – president of state-owned oil company PDVSA – in his blog, Venezuela News and Views [es]. He says that the government's previous measures led to an energy crisis and insufficient production of gasoline, and asks:

¿Y ahora quieren imponernos a nosotros racionamiento sin ni siquiera disculparse? ¿O será que ustedes tampoco son culpables del racionamiento en el Táchira donde sus militares corruptos hacen todo el contrabando de gasolina posible con el vecino país? ¿Eso es lo que quieren, que la Guardia Nacional se agarre ese negocio y nos revenda a cualquier precio la gasolina que ellos obviamente serán los que controlarán?

And now you want to impose on us rationing without even apologizing? Or perhaps you are not guilty of rationing in Táchira where your corrupt military does every possible smuggling of gasoline to our neighbouring country? Is that what you want, that the National Guard obtain that business and resell gasoline to us at any price that they will obviously be the ones who control?

Blogger moctavio, at The Devil's Excrement, said:

rather than eliminate these subsidies and/or increase the price of gasoline, Chavez solution is very simple:

Gasoline rationing. The Government will force us to consume in 2011 100,000 barrels less a day than in 2010.

What’s next? Rationing sand? Because after all, we have had water and electricity rationing, food shortages and now gasoline rationing, all once abundant in Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Twitter users expressed all kinds of thoughts on the subject. @Tupacamaru19 tweeted:

El subsidio astronómico q recibe la gasolina está causando serias distorsiones y más problemas al País y desventajas para las mayorías..

The astronomical subsidy that gasoline receives is causing serious distortions and bringing more problems to the country and disadvantages to the majority

Tomas Sancio (@Tsancio_vzla) asked:

¿Que preferimos los Venezolanos, que escasee la gasolina o que se nos cobre más por ella?

What do we Venezuelans prefer, gasoline to become scarce or to be charged more for it?

Heryck Rangel (@Heryckrangel) said:

La gasolina debería tener un precio más justo y acorde con la realidad. Q sea 20 veces más barata que el agua, debe llamarnos a la reflexión

Petrol should have a price more fair and consistent with reality. The fact that it is 20 times cheaper than water, should be a call to reflection

"A full tank of gas for $3." Photo taken in March 2009 by flickr user Rob Sinclair, Gribiche, under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Arturo Claro (DJUnplugged) stated:

Un país que funciona y se mueve a punta de gasolina y no tiene conciencia del racionamiento, quiero verlo con estas ideas locas del gob

A country that works and moves with gasoline and has no conscience about rationing, I want to see it with these crazy ideas from the government

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