Getting gas in Venezuela

It’s a routine errand, expensive, kinda smelly, and utterly unexciting, for millions (billions?) of people. Filling up the tank. Getting gas. Burning dinosaur bones. (And you were worried this was a chronological consequence of the post about Venezuelan food. Tut tut, I’m classy.)


Venezuela gasYou pull into the station, maybe wait in line, park your car, turn it off, no smoking, no cell phones, stand there bored while the thick black hose squirts thick black sludge into your car, the sun is hot on your neck. Then swipe your card to pay your $30, $40, $50…$60 per tank?


It’s pretty much the same in Venezuela, with one major difference. No, it’s not that there was no brand name necessary on the shelter. No, it’s not the absence of muzak “radio” piped in.


Can you guess the difference?


If my math is correct, with it’s flurry of units of measurement, and depending on what rate you actually get for your dollar (no one uses the official rate, so I’m using the average rate one gets in a hotel, about 45 bolivars per dollar), a gallon of gas that day, and every day, in Venezuela costs about $0.008 per gallon.


Venezuela oil gasA gallon of gas costs less than a penny.


How do you feel about that?


But that’s Venezuelan gas, we Americans get the finer stuff, the Saudi Arabian stuff, the moral stuff, right?

Guess who is, and always has been, the number one purchaser of Venezuelan oil. I don’t even need to tell you.

(And we can get into the relative morality of Venezuela versus the Middle East another day.)


How do you feel, right now, about the subsidies oil companies receive? How do you feel about the fact that the profits they make are the highest in human history?